HOUSTON—Both public and private oil and gas investors are ramping up their scrutiny of environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues, and in an election year, don’t expect the pressure to ease.

“There will be a whole new section in all the new loan agreements that will address compliance with ESG,” warned Jim Finley, CEO and owner of Finley Resources Inc., at the recent NAPE Global Business Conference. “There’ll be a huge amount of checklists you’ll have to do for your banking groups. All capital providers have this high on their agenda. You’d better be prepared internally with policies that come into compliance with what the industry expects.”

But capital is just one tile in an existential game of dominoes for the oil and gas industry.

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