Living with Oil and Gas in Kansas and Oklahoma

Authors: Avantika Ramekar*, Kansas State University
Topics: Rural Geography, Hazards, Risks, and Disasters, Communication
Keywords: Rural, risk perception, mixed methods, oil and gas, communication
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/13/2018
Start / End Time: 10:00 AM / 11:40 AM
Room: Bourbon Room, Astor, Mezzanine
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Oil and Gas industry is not new to Kansas and Oklahoma. These states have been producing oil and gas using conventional methods since historical times. With the use of modern technology such as hydraulic fracturing and directional drilling, the region experienced an upswing in drilling activity from 2010 to about end of 2014. Counties in western Kansas and northcentral Oklahoma saw associated industrial establishments leave lasting impacts on local rural communities. The objective of this study is therefore to understand how individuals in local communities’ experience industrial changes, as well as how industrial dynamics affect opinion and perceptions of risk about an industry, in this case, the oil and gas industry. We suggest that higher the attachment to place, critical knowledge and environmental responsible attitude, higher is the perception of risk. Mailed questionnaire surveys with open and closed questions helped to collect data about individual experiences in six counties of Kansas and four counties in Oklahoma. For the quantitative data, statistical techniques will help find the factors contributing to the perception of risk while NVivo, open-ended qualitative data analysis will help support our quantitative findings. We expect our research to identify proper channel for communication between local communities, educational institutions and policy planners.

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