In an effort to improve the public image of oil and gas companies, the American Petroleum Institute (API) has released a set of guidelines it refers to as "good neighbor standards."

According to API director of standards David Miller, the shale revolution is of critical importance to the U.S. economy but as it is happening across the country's entire territory, some communities are not as familiar with the exploration process as they are in Texas or Oklahoma, for example. The goal of the new guidance is to raise awareness, address community concerns and facilitate a dialog about the benefits of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing. By implementing the recommendations listed in ANSI/API Bulletin 100-3, the industry will make sure that oil and gas production is done "in a way that complements community goals," the API said in a statement.

The guidance covers all aspects of drilling, including steps to prepare local leaders and communities for exploration, how to minimize interruption to the community's everyday life and how to manage resources. The best practice guide also features suggestions for collaboration with local educational institutions for new job opportunities and training, as well as guidance on how to conduct public meetings on safety.