Thursday, May 24, 2018

Poll Finds Misconceptions In Consumer Attitudes Towards NatGas

More than a decade into the shale revolution in the Appalachian Basin, the population’s mindset when it comes to energy, and natural gas specifically, can be jaw-dropping.

After 10 years of educating the public, of community outreach programs, of spending and hiring locally, misconceptions still abound. West Virginia’s Orion Strategies, an expert at polling the common man, in early April conducted a telephone survey of 600 men and women living in the 19 counties in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia that are considered part of the Ohio River Valley.

The Results:

The poll were presented last week at Upstream PA 2018, the annual one-day conference presented by in this small town dominated by Penn State University. Orion principle Curtis Wilkerson presented the poll’s results. Kallanish Energy was in attendance at the one-day program.. On the plus side, 66% of those surveyed believe the oil and natural gas industry representatives operating in their area is very or somewhat trustworthy. The potential problem with that positive percentage is evident when you look at individual age groups. The group including ages 18 to 22, aka, Generation Z, look on O&G as not very or not trustworthy at all at a 37% mark. The parents of Gen Z, Generation X (38-53), look at O&G through entirely different glasses, with 66% seeing the industry as very or somewhat trustworthy. Education of the industry took hold in the parents, but had not worked or had not been presented to the children. Here’s another very interesting survey result: Wilkerson’s poll found Ohio River Valley inhabitants believe the oil and gas industry isn’t hiring locally, 45% to 40%, with 15% of those surveyed unsure where labor was coming from. There’s no question when Range Resources sunk the first Marcellus Shale well more than 10 years ago, the ensuing rush to spud meant most workers eating at local restaurants and staying at local motels were driving vehicles with license plates from Texas, Oklahoma, Colorado and Louisiana. But local institutions of higher learning and trade schools soon saw the light and began offering classes geared to what O&G companies needed. Sadly, many residents in the Ohio River Valley don’t believe it. “When asked if someone close to them work for the oil and natural gas industry, 75% said ‘no,’” Wilkerson told the Upstream PA conference. But, he added, that striking percentage more than likely isn’t correct because those surveyed did not associate working in O&G with driving a water truck, for example. Finally, it’s obvious from the Orion poll, Ohio River Valley inhabitants like what they see with oil and gas production. When asked their opinion for increasing production of oil and gas in their county, Wilkerson said 83% strongly or somewhat support “drill, drill, drill,” while just 15% somewhat or strongly oppose higher production. Joseph F. Barone 610.764.1232

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