Inspection Risk Notifications at Oil and Gas Facilities in Colorado

Last registered on October 21, 2021


Trial Information

General Information

Inspection Risk Notifications at Oil and Gas Facilities in Colorado
Initial registration date
October 20, 2021

Initial registration date is when the trial was registered.

It corresponds to when the registration was submitted to the Registry to be reviewed for publication.

First published
October 21, 2021, 12:31 PM EDT

First published corresponds to when the trial was first made public on the Registry after being reviewed.


There is information in this trial unavailable to the public. Use the button below to request access.

Request Information

Primary Investigator

University of Warwick

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
PI Affiliation
PI Affiliation

Additional Trial Information

In development
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
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

Covert, Thomas et al. 2021. "Inspection Risk Notifications at Oil and Gas Facilities in Colorado." AEA RCT Registry. October 21.
Experimental Details


Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

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?

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)

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
University of Chicago Social and Behavioral Sciences IRB
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number