Operations viewed positively, Encana says of survey

Encana Oil & Gas (USA) Inc., says a survey of community members, landowners, government leaders and others in Colorado and three other states found it is viewed favorably by a 5-to-1 ratio among those aware of its operations.

Three of five adults trust the oil and gas industry in general, Encana said of the survey, which it commissioned. An independent research organization contacted about 2,400 participants.

Encana said the survey found overall, and specifically in western Colorado, that its positive economic impacts and community investment efforts resonated with residents. However, the survey identified local and overall interest in learning more about the hydraulic fracturing process and how Encana addresses the impacts of its operations.

“We’re dedicated to open and productive dialogue with members of the communities where we operate,” Sher Long, who works in stakeholder relations for Encana in western Colorado, said in a news release. “… We consider this feedback extremely helpful and constructive as we work to improve our communication in western Colorado and throughout the U.S.”

Encana, one of the most active natural gas developers in the Piceance Basin, received awards from the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission for at least five years in a row for accomplishments such as reducing environmental impacts.

Regarding hydraulic fracturing, the company has supported requiring public disclosure of the substances pumped underground to crack open formations and foster oil and gas flow.

In 2004, the commission fined Encana what was then a record $371,200 for a gas seep into West Divide Creek south of Silt.

Tresi Houpt, who was a Garfield County commissioner for the past eight years and also served recently on the oil and gas commission, said Encana “did work hard to regain the public trust” after that incident. But, she said, the company still tends to make drilling decisions and then announce them to nearby residents who will be impacted, rather than meeting with them in advance to figure out how to achieve the best outcome for everyone.

“In an ideal world, I believe that their life would be easier, and every other company’s life would be easier across the country, if they would respect other people’s property rights and work with them more closely and make sure it’s a win-win situation for everyone,” Houpt said.

Encana said it welcomes public comments and questions and can be reached at 1-866-896-6371.


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