The first-ever database inventory of oil and natural gas infrastructure information from the top hydrocarbon-producing and consuming countries in the world is now available online. The database was born from a massive information acquisition, evaluation, and resource integration project led by the Office of Fossil Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL). NETL has now released the database on the Laboratory’s Energy Data eXchange (EDX), which is an online collection of capabilities and resources that advances research and customizes energy-related needs.

The database, known as the global oil and gas infrastructure (GOGI) inventory, identifies more than 4.8 million individual features like wells, pipelines, and ports from more than 380 datasets in 194 countries. It includes information about the type, age, status, and owner/operator of infrastructure features.

The GOGI inventory offers an economic, environmental, and health and safety tool for researchers, industry representatives, and government regulators to help prevent infrastructure failures, improve economics of energy production, and address fugitive methane emissions.

According to NETL’s Kelly Rose, one of the energy experts who helped create the database, the production, transportation, storage, and consumption of oil and natural gas resources relies on a global network of infrastructure that is maintained and regulated by a wide range of entities.

“The quality, quantity, and accessibility of information about infrastructure varies,” she said. “The new database integrates and standardizes the varying data sets into a global, open-access assessment and inventory of oil and gas infrastructure—a critical tool for predicting and assessing global methane emissions risks, identifying information gaps, evaluating economic costs, and supporting a range of critical decision-making needs.”

One of the key objectives of the work is to help identify and monitor methane leaks from natural gas infrastructure to prevent future leaks and mitigate the associated economic and environmental impacts.  Methane is the primary component of natural gas and is a greenhouse gas when released into the atmosphere.  Methane leaks from natural gas infrastructure are also a lost opportunity for producers to sell the commodity to consumers. 

“That’s why a global assessment and inventory of open oil and natural gas infrastructure information is so important,” Rose said. “It can provide a framework to support advanced analyses, including predictions and assessments of global methane emissions and infrastructure risks.”

The information is hosted on EDX, which was developed in 2011 and is maintained by NETL researchers and technical computing teams. EDX is used primarily by researchers actively engaged in work relevant to a broad spectrum of fossil energy and environmental research and development programs.

This database is just part of the work that NETL does to develop and commercialize advanced technologies that provide reliable and affordable solutions to America's energy challenges. NETL’s work supports the Department of Energy’s mission to advance the national, economic, and energy security of the United States.