On March 14, the efforts of natural gas companies in business, communities and the environment were formally recognized and celebrated by the Oil and Gas Awards, an event launched in 2012, in Pittsburgh.
“The awards are a platform for the industry to demonstrate and celebrate the advances made in the key areas of the environment, efficiency, innovation, corporate social responsibility and health and safety,” a press release after the event said. “The awards show the industry’s motivation to develop by recognizing and rewarding the efforts of corporations and individuals.”
The 19-category event, held specifically for companies operating in the northeastern shale plays, was the idea of Founder and Chairman Daniel Creasey, who, along with fellow Founders Marc and Oliver Bridgen, got the idea after learning of the negative publicity surrounding the industry that he believed was important to the entire country.
“In working public relations in the industry and speaking with clients, I learned that there was a lot of negative publicity surrounding the natural gas industry,” he said. “It became clear to me then we needed to commemorate companies in the industry on their quality of work and show people who’s doing a good job.
“These awards highlighted companies’ corporate efforts and responsibilities to the communities and the environment,” Creasey added.
One of the keys to the success of the Oil and Gas Awards, according to Creasey, is its regional approach across North America, holding similar events for specific operating areas in Canada and the rest of the United States.
“Our regional approach is what makes us very different,” he said. “It lets smaller organizations be a part of these awards and be recognized for what they do on a more local level.
“We also make sure that our judges are also regional,” Creasey continued. “The judges know firsthand of the efforts that the nominees have done. This approach is what made our judges excited and committed for the awards because they have a connection to the companies involved.”
While the awards themselves seek to celebrate companies with a local approach, Creasey noted that the event has a global initiative to recognize companies on a small and large scale.
“We’re actively building media partnerships both locally and internationally,” he said. “We want to communicate what happened in the awards to local communities and non-industry people as well as communicate on a global scale so companies in other locations can see leaders in other regions and possibly export best practices.
“In the long term, we would to have similar events all over the world,” Creasey continued. “We would be looking to have hundreds of judges, all relevant to their geographical area, educate the market and have companies tell us about their successes as we constantly evolve and refine the awards.” 
Though the Oil and Gas Awards are only a year old, they are extremely popular and are only picking up steam.
“The feedback has been absolutely mind-blowing,” Creasey said. “The companies care about their communities and environment and they know responsibility is the key to a successful business. The mission of these awards is to allow these companies to celebrate their achievements show their commitment to these critical issues to the general public.”
Johnny Williams can be reached at (570) 265-1639; email: jwilliams@northeastdriller.com.