Aera played host to a series of open houses to share about what we do, how we do it and why we are unique; and we are inviting Aera employees, retirees, contractors, suppliers and their families to join in the fun.
“Through these open houses, we want to educate people so they understand Aera and the oil and gas industry,” said Clayton Montgomery, an Aera cyber investigator and ambassador, who helped plan the milestone-marking events. “We want people to know how we work and do our jobs, especially with safety and environmental compliance, and we want people to have fun while they learn about it.”
Each open house showcases table-top displays, many offering interactive elements, 3D models and videos. Some exhibits feature a closer look at Aera, its history, culture and community impact. Others highlight drilling, surface and subsurface production, safety and environmental activities, downstream production, reservoir management and geology, processes and technology.
Attendees work their way through the tables earning stickers on their event “passport.” A completed passport or correctly answering a trivia question at our “spin the wheel” game allows attendees to be entered into a raffle for prizes. In addition, a children’s section with games and activities will be provided at each event.
At the Bakersfield event held on May 20, key contractors set up a drilling rig, pumping unit, hydraulic fracturing fluid display and other oilfield equipment to show how they operate.
The open houses mark the debut of Aera’s new employee “ambassadors.” The new program trains employees how to be effective spokespersons for the oil and gas industry. Over 180 ambassadors have been trained, and a number of them, including Montgomery, are staffing the open houses. They share the technical aspects of oil and gas production in ways the outside community can relate to and provide straight answers to frequently asked questions, from fracking to gas prices to the industry’s environmental impact.
Speaking at the Bakersfield open house, President and CEO Christina Sistrunk thanked those involved in its successful planning. She expressed her gratitude to the employee ambassadors, noting this was their first opportunity to publicly practice their newly-honed outreach skills. Sistrunk praised Aera’s contract partners. “Our business would not be what it is without them,” she said.
“A 20th anniversary is a heck of an accomplishment,” added Sistrunk. “Aera has a great history of coming together to face challenges, of figuring out how to do things differently and finding success.”
Even during the difficult changes since 2015 and expecting a prolonged period of low prices, Aera has achieved record-setting safety and environmental performances. This year’s open houses continue that solution-finding approach.
“If we stay collectively behind closed doors and don’t tell others what we do, that allows people to paint us in a negative way,” she said. “We will not hide away. Aera has too much good news not to tell our story.”
“Next year, we plan to host these open houses on a much larger scale,” said Montgomery. “They’ll be open to the entire community.”