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Problems Faced By Oil And Gas Companies

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Question:

Analysis the problems faced by oil and gas companies?
 
 

Answer:

Executive Summary

This research is mainly emphasised towards the analysing the problems faced by oil and gas companies in their operations and the analysis is followed by the identification of measures aimed at achieving enhancement over the problems being identified. In performing the research on analysing the problems in oil and gas companies, the researcher has considered the application of a critical examination of literature in the form of assessment of academic books and journals to analyse the problems that are encountered by such oil and gas companies and primary research has also been conducted in the form of interviews carried out with the managers of oil and gas companies. The performance of research has resulted into the identification that there are significant level of problems that are encountered by such oil and gas companies in their performance. These mainly include the impact over their social and environmental performance conditions.

The research findings have indicated that there are issues in the form of air pollution because oil and gas companies accounts for emission of significant number of hazardous gases which not only affects the environment but also the employees working within such companies. The analysis has also indicated that there are issues in the form of soil productivity loss, land fertility, negative effect over the environment, and chances of oil spills which affects the marine life in an adverse manner, and also the inappropriate disposal of wastes as generated by such companies from their operations. These are the major issues that have been encountered by the oil and gas companies form their performance, and it is therefore assessed in this research that whether CSR could be an important way to them in addressing all these problems. The findings lead to identification that CSR is highly effective in addressing majority of the problems related to environmental performance as faced by companies. However, it is not the only way in which the problems can be efficiently addressed, but there are various other initiatives that are essential in ensuring that such oil and gas companies perform their operations in a highly efficient manner.

Introduction

Background of the Research: The title of this research clarifies that the given research is focused towards analysing the problems faced by oil and gas companies. There is different nature of businesses that operates and depending on their business processes; they are faced with significant level of problems. Owing to the business nature, there has been significant level of diverse types of problems that are evident in respect to modern day business organisations. In this research, the focus has been specific towards the oil and gas companies whereby the business problems faced by them are critically analysed. It is not only the assessment of the problems faced by them, but the research also focuses towards identifying the best possible solution that could be considered by such oil and gas companies in addressing the business problems faced by them. In order to analyse the problems faced by such oils and gas companies, it has been highly essential to evaluate the nature of business processes and activities as undertaken by them (Chen and Wang, 2011).

An analysis of the oil and gas companies indicates about the nature of their business activities. As for instance, these companies are aimed at performing the upstream and downstream activities which involves the exploration of oil and gas and performing their refining process so that they can be finally made available for usage to the final consumers. In performing such upstream and downstream processes, there are various important factors that are required to be considered by them such as the management of entire process because the entire process has been highly risky. However, the management of the entire organisational process is carried out by men and this exposes them to significant level of risks. There are a range of risks that are evident in respect to the performance of oil and gas firms, and this research specifically aims at analysing those problems with a view to identify appropriate solutions. In order to analyse the problem in this research, the solution as proposed by the researcher is mainly the consideration of corporate social responsibilities by the oil and gas firms (Hancock, 2005).

Analysis of Oil and Gas Companies Problems: The production of oil and gas activity is a crucial activity performed by the specific oil and gas exploration companies especially in the oil rich nations throughout the world. The importance of oil and gas is crucial because it is regarded as the key resource utilised in almost all the activities carried out by people. These resources are identified as the primary source of energy within business and their role is also significant in the efficient functioning of the world economy. The activities that  are specifically carried out by the oil and gas companies includes the generation of such resources under sea water, their transportation and infrastructure development as well. Such oil and gas exploration activities as carried out by oil and gas firms have significant level of impact on the environment, as they not only affect the water resources in terms of contamination of water, but they result into the emission of large number of gases that have a negative overall impact over the performance of environment condition at large (Otton and Kharaka, 2003).

Such process of performing the exploration of oil and gas has been highly significant in meeting out the requirements for energy across the world, but at the same time, the entire process as carried out in exploration and refining of such oil has adverse impact over the performance of the environment. The issue of air pollution is mostly significant because such exploration of oil and gas results into the emission of large number of hazardous gases such as CO2 and it has adverse impact on the health of people (International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources, 1993). It is not only the carbon dioxide, but there are a range of hazardous gases that evolved from such exploration of oil and gas as carried out by businesses. These mainly include volatile organic carbons, carbon monoxide, methane, halons and nitrogen oxide, hydrogen sulphide and sulphur dioxide. These gases results into the air pollution at a significant level and in order to combat such issues that are a range of initiatives that are considered by such oil and gas exploration firms. As for instance, there has been the application of ozone-depleting substances performed by such companies in the fire protection systems and emission occur mainly through the fugitive loss, system testing, false alarms and infrequently through fires. These steps are mainly considered in order to properly address the problem of air pollution as a result of oil and gas production and development (Moir, 2001).

The impact of such oil and gas exploration processes is crucial as they leads to social impacts, visual impact and also leads to noise pollution during the time of exploration of oil and gas. They also affect the soil and vegetation and the resulting impact of such oil and gas exploration is mainly over the biological diversity (International Union for Conservation and Natural Resources, 1993). The issues as evident in respect to the oil and gas exploration process is not only limited to the air pollution, but there are significant other issues that are also evident in its performance. As for instance, the production phase also involves the emission of significant amount of different kinds of wastes and these are mainly in terms of accidental explosions, fire blowouts, oil spills and there are also the higher possibilities of leaks in the process and the resulting impact is therefore evident over the marine life in particular (Bureau of Land Management, 1978). The health problems as a result of all these issues are evident over people and these are identified in the form of respiratory disorders, allergies etc (World Bank Group Report, 2008). There has been increasing level of SO2 being noted in the atmosphere from the exploration of oil and gas, and its impact is also evident in respect to the agricultural productivity in particular as there can be the death of some plants that would be witnessed during their early stage (World Bank Group Report, 2008).

Apart from the performance of air conditions that get adversely affected as a result of oil and gas exploration activities, the analysis of the existing literature indicates that the impact of such processes over the aquatic environment is also adverse. This is mainly in the sense that such exploration of oil and gas also impacts the water resources. The wastes streams from oil and gas exploration include produced water, drilling and well treatment fluids, sewage and domestic wastes and wash and drainage water. The water resources get adversely affected from such performance of processes by the oil and gas companies and this is mainly evident in the form of creation of wetter, higher drier landscapes, pond dominated landscapes, and also the contamination of water because of the discharges of wastes by such companies. The leakages during the oil exploration process include the site drainage and accidental releases are other major adverse impact evident from the oil and gas companies performing the exploration of their business activities and processes (Bagirov and Lerche, 1999).

It is not only the air and water environment that gets adversely affected as a result of such oil and gas exploration activities, but its negative impact is also witnessed in respect to the performance of soil conditions.  This is mainly because the oil and gas exploration leads to compaction and erosion of soil because of changes in the slope, angle and pooling of water, and also because of contamination from the operational discharges, site drainage, leakages and accidental releases. These processes and activities have a direct level of impact over the performance of soil conditions and with such processes being applied, there has been the reduction in the capacity of habitat in supporting the fauna and flora (Otton and Kharaka, 2003). As a result of such impact over the soil performance, the resulting impact is evident in respect to agricultural productivity as there has been the loss of vegetative cover across the oil and gas extraction site. There has been lower overall production of nutrients being witnessed as a result of such oil and gas exploration processes because of decline in the productivity level of land. Because of such vegetation loss as a result of oil and gas exploration process, it affects the nutrient cycles, removes the organic litter and accelerates the loss of soil through erosion.

It is not the human life that gets affected from the inefficient oil and gas exploration process across the country, but there has been the impact being evident in respect to animal as well. The issues in the form of decline in the number of species and animals across the region are also evident as a result of oil and gas extraction process being performed by such companies. The impact over the wildlife is therefore identified as negative from the business processes that are being carried out by such oil and gas companies. The direct loss of habitat is witnessed and also their modification, habitat disturbance and issues in the form of displacement and blockage of access to habitats are also significant. These impacts are therefore regarded as the cases involving company’s people affecting the wildlife in a negative way. The indigenous people gets affected directly because of changes in the wildlife species and it is therefore essential that appropriate measures should be considered by such companies in preserving the environment in which they operates (Parker, 2005).

Thus, the analysis above indicated that such oil and gas companies are exposed to large range of risks from their operations including the environmental risks, health and safety risks, liability risks and reputation risks as well. These aspects are detrimental to the efficient performance of such companies, and it is therefore essential that there should be appropriate measures that should be considered in addressing such issues in a positive manner. There have been the technical challenges being noted especially in respect to the exploration of oil and gas processes as faced by such companies. The different stages as carried out in ensuring that the oil and gas products reaches final consumers have higher potential that there are chances of human error. As a result of this, the impact is quite detrimental to the overall performance of such oil and gas companies at large, and necessitates them to pay adequate level of importance in addressing these aspects.

 

Theories in Addressing the Issue:

The issues are significant in respect to the performance of oil and gas company’s processes as analysed above. It is highly essential that there should be appropriate measures that should be considered in addressing the identified issues above and in this context, the theoretical model that has been proposed is that of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). Corporate social responsibility of an organisation is defined as the responsibilities towards their social and environmental condition that is faced by them in their business. An organisation operates in a wider environment situation and it is faced by large number of conditions that directly affects its performance condition. As a part of operation in society, it has been crucial that appropriate measures should be considered aimed at addressing the environmental and societal issues faced by the organisation from carrying out its organisational processes. Corporate social responsibility therefore suggests the responsibility that must be considered by businesses aimed at enhancing the social and environmental performance.

The corporate social responsibility is not an obligation to any organisation because it is not considered as mandatory; rather it is voluntary in nature and depends completely on the organisation practising it. As the oil and gas companies account for having a direct level of impact over the environment and adversely affects it, it is essential that these companies should undertake measures aimed at enhancing their performance towards the environment and the society in which they operates. By undertaking measures aimed at protecting the environment and the society from their business processes, it could be possible to achieve a reduction over the negative performance conditions to which most of the oil and has companies are exposed. This research is therefore aimed at assessing whether CSR measures are highly efficient to oil and gas companies in addressing the issues as faced by them in their operations. By analysing the ways in which CSR practices could be practiced by oil and gas firms, it could be possible to assess their effectiveness in performing their operations.

Research Aims and Objectives: The aims and objectives of the research are crucial as they guide the researcher in performing their roles and responsibilities in a positive manner. The main aim of the given research is to analyse the problems faced by oil and gas companies, and the suitability of CSR in addressing those issues in a positive way. This research aim will be addressed through the consideration of below indicated research objectives:

  • To analyse the nature of oil and gas companies operation.
  • To identify the major problems to which these oil and gas companies are encountered.
  • To assess the role of CSR in addressing the social and environmental problems as identified in respect to these oil and gas companies.

These research objectives are crucial from the point of view of addressing the main aim of this research in a highly efficient manner.

Nature of the Business Decision or Problem Examined: The entire analysis above has indicated about the problems that have been evident in respect to the oil and gas companies’ performance. The analysis has indicated that the nature of the problem that is being examined is mainly the societal and environmental issues as evident in respect to such oil and gas companies’ performance. The businesses process of such oil and gas companies are identified as extremely detrimental over the environmental performance and as a result, this research specifically emphasises on critically analysing such issues and identifying solutions through which the problems could be efficiently addressed. Thus, the nature of the problem that has been examined as a part of performing this research is mainly the ways in which business processes of oil and gas companies can be made socially and environmentally compatible. This would be examined by way of considering the applicability of corporate and socially responsible practices by such oil and gas companies.

Main Hypothesis and Research Questions: As a part of performing this research, the main hypothesis that will be addressed is indicated below:

Ha: The consideration of CSR measures by oil and gas companies would not address their problems related to social and environmental performance from their business processes.

Ho: The consideration of CSR measures by oil and gas companies are likely to address their problems related to social and environmental performance from their business processes.

Research Question: The specific research questions that will be addressed from doing this research in detail are indicated as follows:

Q1: What is the nature of oil and gas companies operations and how they perform their processes and activities?

Q2: What are the major problems faced by oil and gas companies in performing their business processes on regular basis?

Q3: What is the role of CSR in addressing the social and environmental problems as identified in respect to oil and gas companies?

Critical Analysis of the Research Methods

The given research is focused towards analysing the problems faced by the oil and gas companies in particular and based on the identification of the problem, the given research emphasises on the role played by CSR in ensuring the efficient performance of such oil and gas companies. However, achieving the main aim of this research, the researcher is required to perform the collection of relevant data through the application of different important data collection methods and techniques. This section of analysis therefore presents the data collection methods that have been employed by the researcher in performing the collection of most relevant data. It not only discusses about the data collection methods, but the important aspects related to research designs and the data analytical techniques that have been employed in analysing the collected data are analysed. The research design including the data sampling technique and the final data as selected as a part of analysis in this research are critically analysed as follows:

Research Design and Data Collection Techniques Used: Research design is an important section of a research work and it is concerned with the collection of most relevant data aimed at achieving the research goals. Research design is described as the blueprint of the entire data collection process, and it explains the important questions related to data collection process such as what, how, who, when and where in relation to the collection of data. These specific questions are being addressed and the research design is highly significant in the sense that it allows for the identification of technique that has been utilised in the collection of data and also explains the rationale behind the collection of specific data in the research. These aspects are crucial from the point of view of performance of the entire data collection process (Taylor, 2006). In relation to the given research, an analysis of answers to all these questions is performed as follows:

The data collection technique that have been utilised by the research in analysing the problems faced by oil and gas companies is the interview technique. This technique has been quite relevant from the point of view of collection specific data in relation to the research aims and objectives. The application of this data collection technique is performed in order to analyse the business problems facing oil and gas companies. The interviews are carried out with the managers and assistants of oil and gas companies especially from the CSR department. They are interviewed by the researcher by way of applying the face to face interview method whereby the CSR managers of specific oil and gas companies are interviewed (Berg and Latin, 2007).

In performing the interview, the researcher has followed a specific approach to accessing the CSR managers and their assistants. The research has initially visited the premises of oil and gas companies and the senior level manager has been accessed. A critical discussion is carried out with the senior managers of each and every oil and gas companies as visited, and they were initially explained about the nature of the research, its academic purpose and also the ethical considerations in the form of protecting the anonymity and confidentiality of respondents. By way of considering all these aspects, they were asked to allow their CSR managers and their assistants in the interview process. Some of the senior managers have positively allowed their managers in participating within such interview process, while some others have ignored and they have not given any permission to interview their managers (Remenyi et al., 1998).

The organisations whereby their senior manager has allowed for interviewing their CSR managers have actually being interviewed and this is performed by the researcher himself by visiting the premises of CSR managers and assistants. There were certain important questions that have already been framed initially by the researcher in relation to the problems that have been encountered by the oil and gas companies. These questions were asked and some of the questions have been tailored to suit the specific needs of the research. The interview has been highly effective and the responses as shared by the respondents are recorded immediately below each major question. In these ways, the collection of data has been performed through the application of interview technique by the researcher. The interview can be recognised as in-depth interview that involves the collection of subjective data with respect to the problems that have been encountered by such oil and gas companies, and the ways in which CSR measures could address the identified issues (Creswell, 2003).

The application of such in-depth interview technique has been highly justified in this research and this is mainly because the CSR problems can be better assessed by way of performing an in-depth analysis of the collected data. The subjective data as collected through interview is quite significant in this context, and they allow for efficiently addressing the issues for which the given research has been carried out. Thus, the interview technique has been highly justified and the application of this data collection technique has proved to be highly efficient in this research, as it has resulted into the collection of significant level of data in addressing the research problem. With the application of this data collection technique, the data as collected are aimed at analysis by the researcher through the application of thematic analytical technique. In this data analysis method, the researcher has identified important themes related to problems faced by the oil and gas companies, and they are then rigorously analysed to reach appropriate conclusion (Scruggs and Mastropieri, 2006).

Overall, the research design above indicated the important questions related to data collection such as what, whom, when, where and how related questions. The data collection process including the techniques as applied are critically analysed.

Sampling Process:  The researcher cannot perform the collection of data from the entire population and it is essential that a small and relevant sample should be selected that is highly relevant and representative to the entire population under study. As this research is focused towards performing an analysis of the problems faced by oil and gas companies, the target population to study is mainly the oil and gas companies across the globe. However, in order to perform this study, the researcher has selected a small sample of oil and gas companies that are within the vicinity of the researcher. This implies that the researcher has considered the adaptation of convenient sampling strategy whereby the oil and gas companies that are within the approach of the researcher are considered for analysis. The sampling size that has been considered in performing the collection of data is a sample of 20 respondents that are selected from 10 different organisations. This implies that from each organisation, there is a selection of two respondents performed in order to collect data in this research. Thus, the sampling process has been simple whereby convenient sampling has been considered in the study in order to collect data from the respondents (Fink, 2006).

The Final Sample: The final sample that has been considered in the study comprised of the CSR managers and their assistants from the oil and gas companies. The focus of the researcher from the beginning is mainly towards analysing the problems specifically in the context of such oil and gas companies, and as a result, the selection of sample as performed by the researcher is also from such oil and gas companies. However, for the convenience of the researcher, the selection of such oil and gas companies as performed are within the specific area that is easily approachable to the researcher. Thus, the final sample comprised of the CSR managers and this section of CSR managers in the final sample is performed mainly because the CSR managers have the better possibilities of addressing the main issues for which the given research is conducted. The main purpose of this research is revisited as “identifying the issues faced by oil and gas companies, and the role and importance of CSR measures in addressing such problems”. Since the implication of CSR manager is a crucial factor from the point of view of performance of this research, the inclusion of CSR managers and their assistants from the oil and gas companies have been considered in this research. The performance of data collection from this final sample has resulted into the identification that the researcher has made the most appropriate selection of final sample from the point of view of addressing the main aim of this research in a positive manner (Mujis, 2010).

Overall, the analysis of the research methods above indicated about the ways in which the researcher has performed the collection of most relevant data in this research. The application of interview technique has been crucial to the researcher in analysing the problems and issues that are evident in respect to the oil and gas companies in particular.

 

The Data to be Used in this Research

The accomplishment of the research goals can be possible in a positive manner through the collection of relevant data. The importance of data in performing the research is significant and it is therefore essential that the researcher should focus towards the collection of highly appropriate and authentic data so that the research goals can be accomplished efficiently. There can be the selection of data types by the researcher from the two available choices such as qualitative data and quantitative data. Qualitative data is concerned with the collection of in-depth data aimed at critically assessing the research topic under consideration whereas quantitative data is concerned with the collection of numerical data that is focused towards identifying the viewpoints of large number of respondents aimed at collecting important data. The qualitative data as collected are aimed at analysing the research problem/issue in a critical way so that the problem can be resolved efficiently. Contrary to this, in respect to quantitative data, the focus of the researcher has been towards collecting numerical data so that they can be quantitative analysed through the application of statistical techniques and measures.

Thus, the application of specific data type has been significant as it is the crucial determining factor in respect to the collection of most relevant data and their application in resolving the research issues efficiently. However, the application of specific data type is significantly dependent on the nature of the research. This research on analysing the issues and problems in the context of oil and gas companies in particular is extensively dependent on the in-depth data as collected by the researcher. This is mainly because the analysis of the problems and issues in respect to oil and gas companies requires significant volume of data and this could be positively addressed by way of collecting such in-depth data. This has resulted into the researcher considering the application of interview technique in order to collect and analyse data in this research. Apart from this, the secondary research as applied in the form of analysing the existing literature has also been a significant way in which the researcher has collected the secondary data in this research.

Thus, the analysis above has indicated about the type of data that has been utilised by the researcher in this research in order to accomplish the main aim for which the entire research has been carried out. On the basis of performance of analysis, it is identified that there has been the application of subjective data performed by the researcher in this research.

 

The Results

This has been an important section of this research as it is concerned with presenting the findings that have been achieved from the data as collected by the researcher through the application of different data collection methods and techniques. The researcher in this research has focused towards analysing the issues or problems in respect to oil and gas industry by way of collecting data primarily through the application of interview technique whereby interviews are performed with the CSR managers of oil and gas firms. Apart from this, the data has also been collected in the form of analysing the secondary literature such as scholarly journal articles and academic books with respect to the problems and issues that are encountered by oil and gas firms in performing their operations. The data as collected through the application of different data collection methods are presented in this section and this is followed by their discussion in the next section of this research to reach an appropriate conclusion.

Presentation of Data Collected through Interviews: As indicated above, interviews have been performed with the CSR managers and the assistants of oil and gas companies. The data as collected through the performance of interviews are presented as follows:

Findings from Question 1: This question is focused towards encouraging the participants to share their views with regard to the problems faced by organisations and most of the interviewed managers have indicated that no business is without problems and there must be certain kinds of problems that are accompanied in respect to the business processes that are performed by them. This signifies that businesses must encounter problems in performing their daily business practices, as this is quite usual and certain as per the viewpoints as shared by majority of the respondents. In the viewpoints of interviewed managers, most of them have indicated the existence of problems related to environmental performance because they are mainly from the CSR department of the organisation. However, some of the managers have opined that businesses are focused towards making higher profitability from their operations, and in such pursuit of higher profitability, they often undertakes practices that are unethical or causes problems to their stakeholders. This signifies that businesses are often faced with problems and with increasing attention towards the environmental performance of businesses; there has been higher level of possibilities of facing problems with respect to their performance.

Findings from Question 2: Management of business problems is highly essential in ensuring that the desired goals and objectives of the organisation are positively accomplished. In the viewpoints of the interviewed managers and assistants, they have indicated that as business problems are quite evident in respect to businesses, their management is possible and it is essential that businesses should look for identifying efficient solutions for them. As there are various business problems, there must be specific strategies that must be utilised by businesses in ensuring that those problems are efficiently being addressed. There are different types of managers that are responsible in performing the management of business activities. They are specialised in handling different types of problems specifically in their domain, and as such, there has been higher possibility of solving the business related problems. The interviewed respondents have also indicated that the problems related to environmental management or issues are being evident in respect to an organisation, and their proper management is achieved by the CSR managers in the organisation. Thus, in their viewpoint, appropriate management of business related problems can be specifically addressed by the expert managers in that area.

Findings from Question 3: This question assesses the viewpoint of the respondents concerning the business practices that have been carried out in their own oil and gas company. The question is specific in respect to the oil and gas industry, and the performance of interview has resulted into the identification that oil and gas companies are different from other types of general business stores. In such companies, their core business process is the extraction of oil and gas from the ground and makes them in the usable condition to the end consumers. As per the viewpoints as shared by the respondents, it has been analysed that the business processes and activities that are carried out by them are classified into upstream activities and downstream activities. These activities are concerned with the exploration of oil and gas from the ground surface and performing their refinement so that they can be utilised by the end consumers. This signifies that the core function of oil and gas companies is therefore the exploration of oil and gas and performs their refinement so that they can be transported across the world in meeting out the requirements for oil and gas across the globe.

Findings from Question 4: This question specifically asks the respondents with regard to the different types of problems that are evident in respect to the performance of their business processes especially in their oil and gas companies. The interview question has resulted into the identification of significant level of problems as shared by the respondents. They have indicated that the most significant problem in such oil exploration is mainly that this task of oil exploration is a labour intensive job. Some of them has also indicated that the major business problem that they faces is mainly in terms of exposure of the employees to higher level of threats because such exploration of oil and gas processes are not suitable in respect to the health conditions of people. Thus, the employees that are engaged in such process of oil and gas exploration are directly exposed to health related threats from the fumes that have been generated during such exploration process.

There has been the generation of large number of gaseous elements that is hazardous from the point of view of performing their business processes and this has been the most significant problem as shared by majority of the respondents. This is mainly because such generation of gaseous elements not only affects the human beings but they have negative effect over animals and other marine life. This is why their business processes are regarded as extremely threatening to the performance of environment conditions. Some of them have indicated that the performance oil and gas companies are threatening because it leads to the consumption of natural resources by them. This has been a major issue which leads to the higher level of criticism by general public concerning the performance of oil and gas companies. The problems are not limited to these identified issues above.

The interview with the respondents also indicate that the oil and gas companies are faced with additional issues in terms of affecting the water resources as such process of oil and gas results into the exploration of hazardous materials which accounts for contamination of water resources. The resulting impact is therefore adverse impact on the performance of marine life as a result of such contamination of water resources. This has been regarded as having negative effect from the oil and gas companies’ performance and it is shared by majority of the respondents that this problem is severe to the performance of the entire oil and gas companies. The negative effect over the social and environmental performance is identified as a major problem that is evident in respect to such oil and gas companies. These are the major problems that are indicated by majority of the respondents that have been interviewed.

The interviewed respondents have indicated that the above indicated problems are also evident in respect to their own company especially in respect to their oil and gas exploration processes. The performance of interview has indicated that the oil and gas exploration affects the performance of air condition and this in particular affects the performance of the health conditions of their employees. The issues are also evident in terms of inappropriate strategy in disposing off waste that are extracted from the oil and gas exploration activities as carried out by businesses. As a result, the analysis of the interview responses indicate that there are certain common problems associated with the performance of oil and gas companies, and this has been reflected in respect to the performance of every major oil and gas companies.

Findings from Question 5: This question specifically asks the respondents concerning the existence of social and environmental issues in their performance, and the interview responses indicate that majority of the interviewed CSR managers and their respondents have indicated that there has been social and environmental issues that are attributed in relation to the oil and gas exploration activities that are carried out by them. In their opinion, there have been social issues in the form of people in the nearby areas of their oil and gas exploration plant often complains about it, and they therefore raises issues with respect to the performance of such oil and gas company. This has been a major threat being noted from the point of view of efficient performance of such oil and gas company. Apart from this, the interview with the CSR managers and their assistants have also indicated that there are environmental issues in the form of emission of large number of gases such as methane, CO2 and many more such gases which not only affects the employees working within its plant, but they also impact the people living nearby the neighbouring areas. Thus, there are social as well as environmental issues that are evident in respect to the overall performance of the oil and gas companies as per the viewpoints as shared by respondents.

Findings from Question 6: This question assesses the respondents with respect to the importance of CSR especially in the context of oil and gas companies and the interview with them has resulted into the identification that CSR is highly crucial for businesses as suggested by majority of the interviewed respondents. It has been indicated by them that CSR is essential for businesses in the 21st century in order to perform their operations in a highly efficient manner. Further with respect to oil and gas firms, the importance of CSR is significantly higher as suggested by the interviewed respondents. In the viewpoints of majority of the respondents, it has been evaluated that businesses account for having a direct level of impact over the performance of environment conditions, and it is therefore essential that they should undertake measures aimed at enhancing their performance towards the environment in which they operates. CSR is an important way in which they would remain accountable to the environmental conditions at large. Since oil and gas companies have a direct level of impact over the performance of the environment conditions, they can compensate for such losses caused to the environment by way of focusing towards activities that leads to improved environmental performance. Thus, in the viewpoints of the interviewed CSR managers, oil and gas companies can enhance their overall image by way of undertaking measures aimed at enhancing their overall societal and environmental performance conditions at large.

Findings from Question 7: This question is specifically focused towards evaluating the important ways in which such oil and gas companies can undertake CSR measures, and based on the performance of interviews with different CSR managers, it has been evaluated that there could wide number of ways in which CSR practices can be undertaken by businesses. As suggested by them, it has been assessed that CSR practices can be undertaken by oil and gas companies by way of considering the application of measures aimed at protecting the employees engaged in the production of oil and gas. This could be in the form of appropriately devising policies and procedures that provides sustainable and safe working conditions to employees. In their viewpoints, there could be the application of advanced technological systems that could be performed by such companies in order to provide a suitable working environment conditions to employees. These measures are suggested because it is mainly the employees that have to face the adverse situation from it.

Apart from the above indicated measures, there has been different important ways in which CSR practices can be practiced by such oil and gas firms. As for instance, CSR measures can be considered in the form of environmental initiatives such as preventive measures in advance in the form of spill water protection, advanced safety measures from any consequences in the process of oil and gas exploration process, appropriate measures in the form of disposal of the wastes that are produced during the process of oil and gas explorations. These are some of the CSR initiatives that have been suggested in order to address the issues that are faced by the oil and gas companies from performing the exploration process. Overall, the viewpoints as shared by respondents indicate that there has been large number of measures that could be considered by such oil and gas companies as a part of their CSR measures.

Findings from Question 8: This question has been specific in respect to the respondent’s company as to whether they have undertaken CSR measures in their company, and the viewpoints as shared by majority of them suggests that there are certain important ways in which their companies have considered such practices. However, some of them have also opined that there are no such measures being considered in their company. Those indicated that CSR measures are considered by their company have opined that their company has engaged in sustainable production process by way of providing adequate level of benefits to their employees, special training mechanism for the employees in ensuring that they are aware of the safety principles, and some of them have also indicated that CSR measures are considered by them in the form of making the safe handling of the produce. The prevention from any kinds of incidents has been the key focusing area that has been given higher level of attention by the company.

From undertaking these measures, the interviewed respondents have indicated that there has been significant level of benefits that have been possible to them in their performance. As for instance, with such sustainability measures as considered, there has been a rise in the reputation of the company as the highly sustainable organisation, and positive level of support from the public has been achieved. With the sustainable measures in the form of responsible disposal of wastes generated from the oil and gas exploration process, there has been the benefits in the form of protection of marine life, and the agricultural productivity has also been achieved because of the sustainable measures in the form of responsible disposal of wastes by them. Thus, the attainment of benefits becomes possible from the consideration of sustainability measures by them in their oil and gas exploration process.

Findings from Question 9: This question assesses the viewpoint of the respondents as to whether the consideration of CSR is an important way in addressing majority of the problems, and the performance of interview has resulted into the attainment of findings that there could be significant level of positive impact being possible from the consideration of CSR measures. Some of them have shared that CSR initiatives by such oil and gas firms is not the only way in which problems can be resolved, but there is a need to undertake other initiatives in resolving business problems. However, they have suggested that CSR measures can be a good way in addressing majority of the environmental related problems faced by such oil and gas firms. There has also been the information being shared by other interviewed members that the attainment of solution to the environmental related problems and issues can be ensured to a greater level from the consideration of CSR measures and initiatives by them. It is therefore essential that businesses should focus towards improving their CSR initiatives so that they can address majority of their problems in a positive manner.

Findings from Question 10: This question has necessitated the interviewed members to share their views in the form of recommendations aimed at improving the problems faced by oil and gas firms and the participated members have indicated that there has been significant level of suggestions being provided. As for instance, majority of the interviewed respondents have recommended that oil and gas firms should consider the application of CSR measures because it is an important way in which they can address the reduce the negative image faced by them from the public. The oil and gas firms are usually known for polluting the environment through a range of processes that are performed by them, and CSR is an important way in which they can compensate the environmental issues as caused by them from their business processes and activities. Some of them have recommended that employees should be provided with safety measures that prevent them from the in toxic fumes that generates during the oil and gas exploration process. Some others have recommended that such oil and gas firms should undertake important precautions in relation to the situation of oil spills and they should be prohibited from occurrence. There are other interviewed members that have indicated that the disposal of wastes should be performed by the oil and gas firms in a responsible manner. This is identified as a major source of problem in respect to the performance of oil and gas firms as they pollute the environment significantly. As such, the recommendations are specifically focused towards achieving improvements with respect to the disposal of wastes that are generated from the oil and gas exploration process.

Overall, the entire findings as achieved from interviewing the CSR managers and their assistants have been significant and they could be utilised in accomplishing the main aim of this research in a positive manner.

 

Results and Discussion

This has been the important section of this research as it is concerned with the analysis and discussion of findings that have been accomplished from doing this research. This research is focused towards assessing the business problems as evident in respect to the performance of oil and gas companies, and the researcher has carried out the research work in a sequential manner by way of including the performance of primary research and secondary research. The primary research has been carried out in the form of interviews that have been performed with the CSR managers and their assistants at the oil and gas companies, whereas secondary research has been carried out in the form of critical examination of the existing literature. On the basis of performance of the entire research work, significant level of findings has been achieved and they are discussed in this section of the research.

On the basis of findings as accomplished from doing this research, it has been discussed that the oil and gas companies are different from other companies in their operations. The ways in which they carry out their business activities and processes are different from that of other firms, and their business processes have significant level of impact over the performance of environment condition at large. Such exploration of oil and gas results into significant levels of emission of hazardous gases that have negative overall effect on the environment at large. The analysis of findings has resulted into the discussion that gas such as CO2, methane, and other hazardous gases are emanated from the oil and gas exploration processes of such companies, and they not only pollutes the environment, but they also affects the performance of health conditions of people. Their impact has also been identified in respect to agricultural productivity, soil fertility etc, as these areas are adversely affected as a result of oil and gas exploration process.

Having identified the issues from the performance of oil and gas companies, it is essential that they should consider appropriate measures aimed at addressing them in a positive manner. The given research has specifically emphasised towards the CSR measures needed in the context of such oil and gas firms in order to address the issues as identified. The performance of the research has resulted into the discussion that CSR measures are an important way in which oil and gas firms could efficiently address the issues as encountered by them in their business processes. This is mainly because the CSR initiatives are aimed at enhancing the environmental performance of an organisation which is quite essential to them because of such adverse impact on their environmental performance.

The analysis leads to identification that there are various important ways in which enhancement over the social and environmental performance could be achieved in respect to the oil and gas firms. It is discussed that the most significant area that these oil and gas firms should pay higher level of attention is mainly towards their employees that are responsible for the actual performance of such oil and gas processes. This is mainly because they are exposed to severe level of threats and such activities might result into higher chances of loss of their lives. As a result, the most significant CSR measures needed on the part of such oil and gas companies is mainly in terms of initiatives aimed at adapting preventive measures that could prevent their employees from facing any adverse consequences. The analysis leads to discussion that there could be preventive measures in the form of consideration of safety policies and procedures, training to employees, and application of advanced technological equipments etc should be considered.

The findings from the research also leads to discussion that the business problems in the form of profitability performance are also evident in respect to oil and gas companies, and in pursuing such higher profitability levels, they often look at achieving measures that have negative impact over the performance of the environment. It is therefore essential that their motive should driven towards achieving socially responsible performance levels so that they can look towards accomplishing profitability as well as socially responsible performance. However, the analysis leads to discussion that CSR is highly essential to businesses especially in the 21st century and oil and gas companies are required to consider them as a part of their regular business process in order to achieve higher level of success.

It is not only the air conditions that get affected as a result of large number of in-toxic fumes that are being produced during the oil and gas exploration process, but there are other major areas that also gets adversely affected as a result of such oil and gas company’s operations. As for instance, the impact over the soil performance has also been identified as negative and there has also been adverse overall impact being noted in research to soil fertility which affects the agricultural performance across the economy. However, there have also been issues in the form of soil erosion, and such business of performing the extraction of oil and gas is also regarded as highly risky from the point of view of efficient performance of environmental conditions. As a result, it has been highly crucial that there should be appropriate measures that should be considered in order to address the problems that are mostly evident from the performance of such oil and gas companies.

The assessment of the role of CSR in addressing majority of the issues in the context of such oil and gas companies has become the primary driving factor in carrying out this research. Based on the findings, it has been discussed that the negative overall image of the company can be efficiently addressed through the application of CSR initiatives because CSR measures are aimed at enhancing the environmental performance of companies. CSR initiatives are regarded as green measures that are carried out in order to address the issues faced by the organisation. Because of higher level of impact of oil and gas company’s performance over the environment conditions, they could reduce the negative threat of such performance conditions by way of considering green initiatives and measures aimed at achieving higher level of enhancement of organisational performance.

The findings in the study leads to discussion that there are various important ways that could be considered by such oil and gas companies in enhancing their social and environmental performance. The most important aspect that has been noted especially in this context is mainly with respect to the performance towards the employees as such businesses can undertake CSR measures by way of focusing towards initiatives aimed at providing a safe and secured working environment conditions to their employees. However, it is not sufficient that the employees are supported, but there should also be the green initiatives that must be considered in the form of supporting local communities, paying adequate level of attention towards the own processes of such companies, as they should ensure minimal impact over the environment from the practices and initiatives that are undertaken by them on regular basis. Appropriate measures aimed at reducing the chances of oil spills are essential and at the same time, it is also essential that there should be emphasis placed over the CSR measures.

The analysis leads to discussion that it is not only the CSR measures that would ensure the efficient performance of such oil and gas companies, but there would be various other measures that are required to be considered by them so that they can achieve higher overall performance conditions. The analysis as carried out has resulted into the discussion that CSR is only a way in respect to such oil and gas companies in reducing their overall negative impact that is created over the environment in which they operates. However, in addressing other problems, they are required to undertake measures that address them specifically. The analysis has resulted into the identification that majority of the problems related to the environmental performance can be efficiently addressed by the companies through the consideration of CSR initiatives in their business processes.

Overall, the research specifically analyses the problems that are evident in respect to the performance of oil and gas companies and the role and context of CSR initiatives in addressing them. The entire analysis leads to discussion that there could be positive overall measures that could be adopted by companies in order to enhance their performance towards the environmental threat that is posed to their operations. The entire analysis leads to discussion that oil and gas companies should attempt to undertake more and more of such measures that are aimed at enhancing the performance towards their environment, and they should also emphasises towards other important measures through which the negativity from their business processes over the environmental performance can be efficiently addressed and the successful achievement of their main aims and objectives is accomplished.

Implication for the Business Decision or Problem

The entire research has been focused towards the problems and issues in respect to the oil and gas companies’ performance conditions and the issues encountered by them while performing their operations. A critical assessment of the existing literature followed by the performance of primary research has been significant from the point of view of identifying the major business problems and the ways in which CSR can be applied in order to ensure that the identified problems are efficiently addressed. The performance of the research has resulted into the identification of business decision or problem in the sense that oil and gas companies are exposed to larger level of environmental threats in their operations. This is mainly because the upstream and downstream activities as managed by them have a direct level of impact over the environmental performance.

The exploration of oil and gas affects the environment in a significant way, as it leads to environmental pollution, loss of soli productivity, adverse impact over marine life and many more. As a result, the business implication in this context is mainly with respect to the social and environmental initiatives by such oil and gas companies in order to address the problems as faced by them. It is highly essential that there should be higher level of attention that should be placed by such oil and gas companies towards their social and environmental performance so that they can achieve reduction with respect to the threats as faced by them in their business performance. The analysis has resulted into the identification that there is a need for measures in the form of providing safe and efficient working environment conditions to employees, measures aimed at reducing the environmental impact from their business processes and activities, focus towards achieving efficient environmental performance by way of looking towards measures that prevents oil spills, contribution towards the society and the environment in terms of job opportunities etc.

The analysis has resulted into the identification that it is not only the measures aimed at protecting the environment, but there should also be the initiatives that should be considered in ensuring that the overall organisation’s performance is improved. As such oil and gas companies accounts for meeting out the needs and requirements of energy across the globe, it is highly essential that they should efficiently carry out their operations aimed at achieving higher level of enhancement over their profitability performance as well as social and environmental performance. Thus, in relation to the business problem as applicable in respect to oil and gas companies, the main implication that has been identified is that they should undertake measures that are aimed at enhancing their societal and environmental performance at large and at the same time, there has been positive overall implication over the financial performance that should also be accomplished.

 

References

Bureau of Land Management, (1978), ‘Grass Creek: oil and gas leasing environmental assessment record’, Dept. of the Interior], Bureau of Land Management, Worland District.

Bagirov, E. and Lerche, I. (1999), ‘Impact of Natural Hazards on Oil and Gas Extraction: The South Caspian Basin’, Springer.

Berg, K.E. and Latin, R.W. (2007), ‘Essentials of research methods in health, physical education, exercise science, and recreation Point’, (3rd ed.), Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Creswell, J.W. (2003), ‘Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Methods Approaches’, 2nd ed, UK: Publisher SAGE.   ‘

Chen, H. and Wang, X. (2011), Corporate social responsibility and corporate financial performance in China: an empirical research from Chinese firms, Corporate Governance, Vol. 11 (4), pp. 361-370.

Fink, A. (2006), ‘How to conduct surveys: a step-by-step guide’, (3rd ed.), SAGE.

Hancock, J. (2005), Investing in Corporate Social Responsibility: A Guide to Best Practice, Business Planning & the UK's Leading Companies, Kogan Page Publishers.

International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources, (1993), ‘Oil and Gas Exploration and Production in Arctic and Subarctic Onshore Regions: Guidelines for Environmental Protection’, IUCN. 

Moir, L. (2001), What do we mean by corporate social responsibility?, Corporate Governance, Vol. 1 (2), pp. 16-22.

Muijs, D. (2010), ‘Doing Quantitative Research in Education with SPSS’, (2nd ed.), SAGE Publications Ltd.

Otton, J.K. and Kharaka, Y.K. (2003), ‘Environmental Impacts of Petroleum Production: Initial Results from the Osage-Skiatook Petroleum Environmental Research Sites, Osage County, Oklahoma’, DIANE Publishing.

Parker, B. (2005), Introduction to Globalization and Business: Relationships and Responsibilities, 2nd ed., SAGE.

Remenyi, D. et al., (1998), ‘Doing Research in Business and Management’, London: Sage.

Scruggs, T.E. and Mastropieri, M.A. (2006), ‘Applications of Research Methodology’, Emerald Group Publishing.

Taylor, R.H. (2006), ‘Research Methodology: A Guide for Researchers in Management and Social Sciences’, PHI Learning Pvt. Ltd.

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