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BAKKEN BREAKOUT • Spring 2011


well and which changes would improve safety across the state.


Many steps have already been taken by the industry, and future investment plans will improve safety. For example, more than $3.5 billion in pipeline and processing projects are planned or underway in western North Dakota to move oil and gas more effectively, thus reducing truck traffic and related wear on roads. Additionally, it appears the Legislature will be supportive of the Governor’s proposal to invest significantly in further developing vital infrastructure in the oil and gas producing counties.


Why is this important? The industry is intent on listening and responding to the needs arising from oil development. The Petroleum Council’s Oil Can! program was founded on the principles of listening, developing partnerships and respecting others. These are the goals we keep in


the most appropriate way possible to create a win-win situation for everyone.


In the most recent research study, a public perception survey conducted by Minot State University and other researchers confirms what we often read in newspapers today. More than half of the respondents identified either housing (29 percent) or road safety (25 percent) as their most pressing concerns in the oil patch.


So what actions should we take? As an industry, we must continually work on safety education and communication. We are engaging other safety-driven agencies such as North Dakota Safety Council, Public Service Commission, North Dakota One Call, DOT, TrainND, WSI and American Red Cross, among others. We continue to look for ways to create and deliver more effective training, increase safety awareness within our communities and enhance our communication of


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mind when coordinating numerous education and outreach efforts such as town hall meetings, safety education and survey tools to gauge people’s perception of the oil- and gas-related activity taking place. This is our means of listening to people’s concerns and responding in


what is working — i.e. best practices — between companies.


We all share the responsibility and need to perpetually improve in the area of safety. What actions should you take? Get involved. Help drive safety improvements in your


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