By Jay Vincent,
Senior Vice President – Energy Sector, Practice Leader, The Saint Consulting Group
One would expect that the people from whom you lease mineral rights would be supportive of your plans to develop those rights. You would think so at least. It is likely the relationship started out that way, but without frequent communication and relationship building those same lessors are susceptible to pressure from neighbors or the community at large. With enough opposition even those who have a significant financial stake in your plans can be converted to siding with the opposition.
Imagine what can happen when one of your lessors is now the leader of the opposition group that formed to stop your plans! Ouch. I can’t imagine any elected official or Oil and Gas Board would find a reason to support your plans in that neighborhood.
Typically we see this problem when the leasehold has not been fully analyzed or studied. We also see it when there has been no plan developed to communicate with these significant stakeholders. Unfortunately for a developer experiencing this problem, it is often to late to do something once this happens.
So, to reduce the exposure to this problem, we suggest conducting a simple stakeholder analysis to help you understand who you are dealing with in the most important segment of the community – the mineral rights owners who are most impacted by your project. Here are some steps to get you started:
- Generate a full list of everyone in the project that has a lease with your firm
- Use an Phone ID call to gauge their support or concern about your activities
- For those opposed, make a visit to their home and engage them
- Neutralize them at their home and work to ensure they get educated by you first
- Conduct an online search for comments made on social media sites for those that you ID’d as opposed
If you want to discuss some ways to identify potential opposition and learn about mitigating their impact on your project, feel free to get in touch for a personalized proposal from the Energy Sector Practice Team.
Jay Vincent is senior vice president and business practice leader for the energy sector for The Saint Consulting Group, email firstname.lastname@example.org, phone 312.970.5770 Ext: 7501