The natural gas and oil industry is focused on social value and progress, including improving the quality of life for global citizens, promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion, driving safety for employees and surrounding communities, respecting human rights, and contributing to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
Social Value and Progress
Improving Quality of Life
America’s natural gas and oil industry delivers affordable, reliable energy to businesses and consumers across the U.S. – and around the world – contributing to economic development and improvements in quality of life.
There are more than 800 million people worldwide who don’t have access to reliable and affordable electricity sources – otherwise known as “energy poverty.” Energy access is critical to reducing poverty, increasing economic growth, and improving human health and life expectancies.
Furnishing natural gas and liquefied petroleum gases – like propane and butane – to other parts of the world can help replace coal, kerosene, biomass and other fuels used for lighting, heating and cooking – lowering emissions and improving public health.
Advancing Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
America’s natural gas and oil companies support more than 10 million U.S. jobs, employing a highly skilled workforce of scientists, engineers and craftspeople. Based on API’s latest analysis of employment trends – “The Future of Work” – nearly 50% of job opportunities through 2040 will be filled by individuals that identify as African American, Hispanic, Asian or non-white. API’s Workforce Summary provides a collection of research analyzing key workforce segments across the industry, and provides a concise look at detailed aspects of the workforce including attitudes and perceptions, education, and job quality.
By understanding America’s changing demographics and the industry’s changing nature of work, API can help shape the sector’s recruitment and retention efforts in a meaningful way.
Our diversity makes us better, stronger and more resilient, and API’s principles commit the industry to maintaining an inclusive work environment based on the highest ethical standards. API is focused on increasing diversity in the industry’s workforce and supply chains through partnerships and initiatives.
API’s DE&I Member Working Group is focused on the implementation and oversight of industry efforts on workforce and supplier diversity. Our DE&I programming is designed to amplify awareness of these issues among API members and share best practices. Ultimately, API aims to help increase opportunities for diverse suppliers across the industry and better recruit and serve minority skill seekers in the natural gas and oil industry. For more information, please contact Amanda Eversole.
Supporting Educational Initiatives
We know that science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) competencies are critical to attaining industry-related jobs, so API members have invested in expanding these opportunities in K-12 U.S. schools – specifically, through the STEM Careers Coalition, a partnership with Discovery Education. This program is designed to bridge the workforce skills gap by empowering students and educators in U.S. schools. For more information, please contact Rebecca Winkel.
API has established relationships with Historically Black Colleges and Universities across the country. Through our Minority Serving Institutions (MSI) initiative, students at participating universities receive free access to API’s best-in-class standards. As we expand the program nationwide, we welcome outreach regarding the inclusion of additional MSIs. For more information, please contact Alexa Burr.
Partnering with Industry Allies
API has a long-established external stakeholder program, known as the Energy Action Alliance (EAA). This network is comprised of 18 diverse partners, including professional engineering societies, STEM education experts, publishers’ associations and chambers of commerce. Together, this coalition works to expand grassroots support for the natural gas and oil industry by building relationships with non-traditional strategic allies in minority communities.
In partnership with labor organizations like North America’s Building Trades Unions (NABTU), API is supporting pathways to desirable job opportunities for individuals of all education levels. According to NABTU, industry careers are increasingly sought-after because they are high-paying and provide long-lasting employment, and we are working to expand access to these opportunities.
Protecting Employees, Communities, and Assets
Protecting Industry Employees
Safety is a core value to the industry. API’s members highlight its importance to operations and advance it through ongoing research, standards development, training, information sharing and advocacy.
The industry proactively evaluates and addresses health, safety and security risks related to the extraction, processing and transport of natural gas and oil. While no human endeavor is entirely without risk, API standards, certifications and training programs establish a safety culture making our industry among the safest in the U.S. private sector. For example, some of API’s recommended practice documents for workplace safety have been incorporated into guidance issued by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). These recommended practices and standards help protect industry’s greatest asset – its people – and its operations.
API also designs workforce training and certification programs to educate and enhance the skills of industry employees by ensuring they have the knowledge and experience to operate energy systems safely and efficiently. API members are committed to continuous improvement toward the ultimate goal of zero operating incidents and improving their safety and sustainability in industry operations.
Engaging Local Communities
To deliver on successful and sustainable energy projects and operations, the industry works to build confidence and support of all stakeholders, including local residents and municipal governments. API has established a proactive approach to build support through its Community Engagement Guidelines. By fulfilling commitments to industry-led reporting, standards setting and performance initiatives, API members are also strengthening these relationships and creating opportunities for local economic growth.
API’s Community Engagement Guidelines for Pipeline Projects outlines every phase of midstream infrastructure development to explain the process of siting and constructing one of the safest modes of transporting energy. America’s pipeline operators work to identify, understand, listen and respond to concerns related to energy development at the local, state and federal levels.
Responding to National Crises
The natural gas and oil industry also understands it must be ready to operate and deliver energy in a number of different situations, such as hurricanes, natural disasters or the COVID-19 pandemic. America’s natural gas and oil industry is committed to protecting the environment and to continuously improving its hurricane preparation and response plans. After any hurricane or tropical storm, the goal is to return to full operations as quickly and as safely as possible.
In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, our industry is donating critical medical supplies and increasing the production of health and hygiene products, and we know every contribution counts. During the pandemic, the energy industry donated hundreds of millions of dollars and millions of pieces of PPE globally to keep first responders and communities safe – including hand sanitizer, N95 respirators, face shields, jet fuel, and fuel gift cards.
API Social Programs, Standards and Events
|API Programs||Key API Standards & Documents||API Forums/Events|
API Safety, Health, and Security Programs, Standards and Events
|API Programs||Key API Standards & Documents||API Forums/Events|
- United Nations, 2011:
- OECD, 2011: Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises
- IPIECA, 2012: Human rights due diligence process: a practical guide to implementation for oil and gas companies
- IPIECA, 2013: Integrating human rights into environmental, social and health impact assessments: A practical guide for the oil and gas industry
- STEM Careers Coalition, 2019: Empower educators to teach STEM effectively in the classroom, foster equity and access to quality education, and build the next generation of solution-seekers at no-cost to schools.
- American Viewpoint and Lake Research Partners, 2015:
- Solutions for Information Design, 2016:
- RAND Corporation, 2017:
- IHS, 2020: The Future of Work, The Influence of New Technologies on Employment and Demographic Trends in the Oil, Natural Gas, and Petrochemical Industries
Safety, Health, and Security Resources
- IOGP Life Saving Rules
- International Council of Chemical Associations, Chemicals Management
- IOGP-IPIECA, 2019: Health management in the oil and gas industry IOGP Report 343
- International Organization for Standardization (ISO), 2018: ISO 45001:2018 Occupational health and safety management systems — Requirements with guidance for use
*API 780 is certified under the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) SAFETY Act