geoethics of fracking and oil

geoethics of fracking and oil

Mar 15th, 2017

We recently read about geoethics of fracking and oil in IAPG – International Association for Promoting Geoethics (

Stephen Crittenden, the author of the paper, brilliantly explains “bad practices” in geoethics of fracking and oil. These strike stunning similarities with ethical issues in mining, a topic we are very familiar with. Indeed we have written over 20 papers in the last 10 years on that subject.

We will discuss here geoethics of fracking and oil, bad practices and their similarities with mining.

Stephen adeptly starts by defining “bad practices”. They are both, deliberate and accidental (avoidable) and sometimes due to ignorance. Meanwhile he lamentts the negative publicity suffered by oil and gas industry.

The reasons he invokes for the bad publicity are reasons we have discussed for mining at length in this blog in the past, namely:

1) The lack of clarity in explaining/communicating to the public what the industry does. How it does it and what are the resulting risks to people, infrastructure and the environment. We discussed this specific theme at CIM in 2013 in a paper titled:”Can we stop misrepresenting reality to the public?“). Energy has striking resemblance with mining insofar it is required to sustain our societies, but also generates risks that should be managed while ensuring economic sustainability.

geoethics of fracking and oil

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2) The lack of clear terminology (you can download an ISO 31000 compatible version here ) and ubiquitous unclear jargon. These lead to endless misinterpretations and re-interpretations, often for political reasons as exposed in our chapter in Geohazards Caused by Human Activity).
3) The apparent “gaps” in Corporate Social Responsibility and “Corporate Ethics and Compliance” due to simplistic approaches which we discussed here.
4) The poorly explained evolution the industry has followed in the last decades although, like for the mining industry, tarnished by some highly publicized accidents with the shortcomings discussed here.

So, we know the culprits, but way more importantly, we know how to fix them.
Why do we want to fix them? Because we want to serve our societies and make economic, environmental, ethical sense with our operations.

This will not be “lip-service”. It is the correct approach.

Contact us to learn more/

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Category: Risk analysis, Risk management

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