The inaugural Oil & Gas Awards will be held in March 2013. The awards are regional, with the first three taking part in the Rocky Mountain, Gulf Coast and Northeast producing regions. The awards program for the Mid-Continent, Southwest and West Coast regions will run in late 2013.

The awards celebrate business success twinned with an organization's commitment to health and safety, environmental stewardship and corporate social responsibility.

The Oil & Gas Awards are judged by the industry, with judging panels made up of senior executives from upstream and midstream companies. Gary Slagel, senior advisor for environmental affairs at CONSOL Energy and chairman and executive committee member of Pennsylvania Independent Oil and Gas Association, is one of the northeast judges.

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Oil & Gas Awards spoke to Slagel about the key issues of Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and the industry in general.

O&GA: Do you believe your organization’s environmental credentials are a significant factor for investors, customers and suppliers when deciding whether to engage with your company?
Slagel: Yes, CONSOL Energy produced its first Corporate Sustainability Report in 2012 and it was very well received. Investors want to know what we are doing and how we are doing it relative to protecting the environment.

O&GA asked the same question to oil and gas industry professionals in a recent survey, and 72 percent responded yes, 21 percent said sometimes, and 7 percent said no. In the same survey they also asked “Is CSR a core focus for your organization in all decisions, or is it just sometimes part of the business process?” More than half of the respondents answered “core to everything we do” and 38 percent said “sometimes part of the process”.

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O&GA: The reality is that businesses have to prioritize based on resources. How does CONSOL Energy manage its commitments to environmental stewardship, corporate social responsibility and health and safety? Is there an order of priority?
Slagel: Environmental compliance is our second highest corporate value (after safety) and as a value it does not change – priorities can change – values don’t.

O&GA: What legislation have you been encouraged by in 2012?
Slagel: The Appalachian Basin shale gas states (Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia) passed new legislation this year to advance shale gas development while enhancing environmental protection standards.

O&GA: What have been the key environmental subjects in 2012 and where will the focus lie in 2013?
Slagel: I believe the focus will continue to be on air and water resources.

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O&GA: When looking back at this year, what stands out for you?
Slagel: Low gas prices have really impacted the enthusiasm for dry gas development and concerns still exist with the regulatory process in several states, nevertheless, shale gas is a game changer and is here to stay.

O&GA: What are your predictions for 2013?
Slagel: Gas prices will rise enough to encourage more shale gas development.

O&GA: Do you think the U.S. can decrease fuel imports by 50 percent in the next 10 years?
Slagel: Absolutely. We can become a net exporter by simply taking advantage of our shale oil and gas resources, utilizing our existing fossil fuel resources (coal), and developing an overall national energy policy.

O&GA asked the same question in a recent survey. Of the oil and gas professionals that responded, 79 percent answered yes, 15 percent said it would take longer, and 7 percent said no.

HSE and CSR are essential to the future success of the oil and gas industry as well as being key factors in policy and corporate decision making processes. Organizations can demonstrate and publicize their commitment to HSE and CSR by participating in the Oil & Gas Awards.

The awards are free to enter and the deadline for nominations and entries is Friday, Nov. 30. Full details can be found at

With over twenty categories, the Oil & Gas Awards bring together upstream and midstream companies as well as the service providers and suppliers that support them. Categories range from “E&P Company of the Year” to “Drilling & Well Services Company of the Year” and “Environmental Initiative of the Year.” Honorees will receive great marketing and PR from the awards and inclusion in the post awards supplement, which will be widely distributed across the industry.

About the awards
The Oil & Gas Awards are a platform for the industry to demonstrate and celebrate the advances made in key areas of the environment, efficiency, innovation, corporate social responsibility and health and safety. The awards show the industry’s motivation to develop by recognizing and rewarding the efforts of corporations and individuals.

The awards take place in the six main onshore oil and gas producing regions of North America, including Gulf Coast, Mid-Continent, Northeast, Rocky Mountain, Southwest and West Coast. The awards allow geographically relevant organizations the ability to network at the gala dinner, and to ensure successful companies can utilize and benefit from their ‘winners status’ within their business community. A number of the categories recognize service providers to the industry, who play a vital role in its success and contribute to its reputation. Entries from organizations of every size are welcome.

Benefits of entering the awards:

  • Companies are showcasing their achievements to respected members of the relevant regional market.
  • Entrants are supporting an industry drive to develop and demonstrate improvements within the sector to the rest of the world.
  • Shortlisted and winning companies will be celebrated at the awards ceremony gala dinner in front of an audience of over 500 respected industry leaders.
  • Winning companies will be featured in post event marketing and media in local, national and international trade press.
  • Winners will have their picture, logo and profile featured in the awards supplement and on the Oil & Gas Awards website.
  • Winners will be able to share their success with clients, prospects and partners.

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