Inspection Risk Notifications at Oil and Gas Facilities in Colorado

Last registered on October 21, 2021

Pre-Trial

Trial Information

General Information

Title
Inspection Risk Notifications at Oil and Gas Facilities in Colorado
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0008405
Initial registration date
October 20, 2021
Last updated
October 21, 2021, 12:31 PM EDT

Locations

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Primary Investigator

Affiliation
University of Warwick

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
PI Affiliation
PI Affiliation

Additional Trial Information

Status
In development
Start date
2021-10-01
End date
2025-12-31
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
Abstract
In 2014, Colorado introduced regulations requiring oil and gas companies to identify and to fix methane leaks, and to install equipment to limit or prevent emissions. Yet firms and regulators might be unable to comprehensively monitor these emissions, and still rely on infrequent and expensive on-site facility inspections to detect leaks. This study plans to leverage predictive analytics and remote sensing technologies to test the effectiveness of new targeting and inspection strategies on reducing methane emissions.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Citation
Covert, Thomas et al. 2021. "Inspection Risk Notifications at Oil and Gas Facilities in Colorado." AEA RCT Registry. October 21. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.8405-1.0
Experimental Details

Interventions

Intervention(s)
Intervention Start Date
2021-10-21
Intervention End Date
2022-09-30

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
The primary outcome of the experiment is a measure of methane emissions that can reasonably be attributed to an oil and gas facility based on meteorological conditions from a remote sensing gas analyzer, as well as binary indicators of emissions found at a facility from remote sensing and regulatory inspections.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
The aim of this experiment is to determine whether notifications to oil and gas operators regarding individual facilities’ likelihood of displaying unintended methane leaks and related higher inspection risk reduce facility-level emissions levels. Facilities’ likelihood of displaying unintended methane leaks is estimated by a predictive analytics model. Operators will receive a notification from the regulator informing them that certain facilities under their purview have been flagged by the model as being at a higher risk of displaying methane emissions and are therefore subject to a higher inspection likelihood during the upcoming inspection year.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
Randomization will be completed in an office using a computer.
Randomization Unit
Randomization will be completed at the facility level.
Was the treatment clustered?
No

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
1,105 facilities
Sample size: planned number of observations
1,105 facilities, but we might have multiple observations per facility depending on remote sensing capabilities
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
553 treatment facilities and 552 control facilities
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
University of Chicago Social and Behavioral Sciences IRB
IRB Approval Date
2021-10-12
IRB Approval Number
IRB21-1506