REI Insights

Built a User-Friendly Public Platform to Better Understand Energy Consumption for Smarter Policymaking
May 26, 2017
OPIC Case Study Oil and Gas

The Challenge

To further promote public knowledge of energy, EIA sought to provide a free-to-use platform that would transparently present national oil and gas well activity on a customizable, user-friendly interface. The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) is a Government agency of the U.S. Federal Statistical System. EIA collects, analyzes, and disseminates independent and impartial energy information to promote sound policymaking, efficient markets, and public understanding of energy and its interaction with the economy and the environment. Without such a platform, the only way to see a national picture of well-level activity currently was to visit each producing state’s website and manually consolidate the data, or to purchase commercial databases—an expense that would not be practical for individuals and many organizations.

Our Approach

REI Systems (REI) was contracted by EIA to develop the National Oil and Gas Gateway (Gateway), a consolidated data source that provides a dynamic and timely view of US oil and gas well activity. Gateway presents a national picture of well-level activity while enabling users to perform advanced queries and download data from custom searches. Gateway also standardizes states’ information so that users can make “apples to apples” comparisons between otherwise disparate reports. REI progressed Gateway from project inception to launch of the final functional interface in just 6 months. The site was developed with cutting-edge technologies including Angular2 and OpenLayers Javascript-based libraries and leverages modern backend technologies including ElasticSearch and Node.js. REI used agile delivery principles to maintain flexibility regarding the scope and schedule of the Gateway project. Metrics captured through the use of Agile methodologies such as burn rate, velocity, and capacity were used to draw a more precise forecast and ensure success.

Impact & Outcomes

Since the project’s launch in the summer of 2017, 10 out of the country’s 34 oil- and gas-producing states have implemented a policy that requires them to submit their gas and oil activity to Gateway on a monthly basis. Additional states have expressed interest in aligning their policy with the mission of Gateway. This project has since supported the Groundwater Protection Council (GWPC) and is an invaluable resource for government agencies, environmental groups, industry and financial analysts, scientific researchers, and students to use at no cost to them.