Collecting infrared video in New Mexico

The Oil & Gas Threat Map utilizes several types of data to display and calculate potential impacts: oil and gas production facility data, Census demographic data, and school location/enrollment data. Data sources described below can be downloaded.

Facilities listed in the map are limited to 1.5 million active production wells, natural gas compressor stations and processing plants (e.g. “upstream” not “midstream” pipelines or “downstream” refineries/plastics plants or storage wells) because they are the most likely to be governed by federal and state standards to eliminate methane pollution by the oil and gas industry.

Oil and Gas Facility Data

Oil and gas well data was downloaded directly from state government agencies by the Fractracker Alliance. The data is comprised primarily of active wells, and is from 2020 & 2021. Compressor and processor data was taken from Oak Ridge National Laboratory — and vastly undercounts those facilities. However, because compressors and processors are often co-located with wells, it is likely that most “missing” facilities are still encompassed within the Threat Radius.

Census Data

Population statistics were calculated by FracTracker using data from the 2020 US Census at the Census block level, which is the finest grained resolution of data available.

Census data does not include street address information. So the population within the Threat Radius was estimated by

  • Determining the ratio of each census block that was within a half-mile of the nearest oil and gas facility compared to the total area of the block;
  • The resulting quotient was then applied to the various demographic totals within the block, rounded to the nearest integer, to determine the estimated threatened population for the block;
  • This result was then aggregated at the county and state levels.

School Data

Information on American schools & enrollment within the 1/2 mile Threat Radius was taken from the Department of Education via the US Department of Homeland Security’s Homeland Infrastructure Foundation-Level Data (HIFLD). Data is current as of the 2017-2018 school year.