Responding to Stakeholder Concerns
We engage with local communities throughout all stages of operations to gain perspectives and understand concerns. Methods for engaging with our communities include town hall meetings, surveys and research, grievance hotlines, online engagements (such as www.noblecolorado.com) and direct interaction. In the DJ Basin, our largest onshore operation, we established a landowner complaint hotline two years ago. The hotline provides an avenue for landowners impacted by our operations to provide feedback or lodge concerns and receive timely, respectful and consistent responses.
Because most of our onshore assets are located in rural areas, the most common community concerns expressed are related to increased truck traffic and resulting impacts to roads, noise, and similar issues. To ensure that these temporary disturbances are minimized and effectively managed, we implement specific road-use strategies. These efforts include blackout hours, which keep large trucks off the road during school bus-route hours, and the use of pipeline transportation systems to reduce truck traffic.
In the DJ Basin, we have established additional practices in response to stakeholder input:
- For each new operating location, we conduct baseline surveys, audio/visual/olfactory inspections, noise surveys and impact assessments that take into account noise, light, and odor pollution. As needed, we implement mitigation measures to reduce these impacts. We follow up to assess the effectiveness of these measures. We are also going back to conduct similar assessments on legacy projects that predated this baseline process.
- We work with the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) to install effective sound barriers, such as acoustic panels, around our drilling rigs to reduce noise. We also participate in a COGCC technical working group to discuss noise pollution issues and identify ways to lessen them.
- We limit light pollution by taking advantage of natural topography or constructing temporary or permanent light shields, by carefully positioning lights and by using lights only during activities.
- We work to reduce odor pollution by using closed loop systems to store drilling mud, by using green completions to reduce flaring, and by using combustion burners to avoid venting emissions during production.