Online Program

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Saturday, February 17
CS20 Understanding Populations Sat, Feb 17, 9:15 AM - 10:45 AM
Salon E

Quantifying Populations in Proximity to Oil and Gas Development: A National Spatial Analysis and Review (303478)

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Eliza Czolowski, PSE Healthy Energy 
Seth Shonkoff, PSE Healthy Energy 
*Tanja Srebotnjak, Harvey Mudd College 

Keywords: spatial distribution, spatial statistics, GIS, mapping, unconventional oil and gas, oil well, dry gas well, wet gas well, spatial proximity

This presentation is aimed at practitioners and experts in a range of disciplines, including oil and gas production and risk assessment, spatial analysis, public health, demography, and public policy. The goal of the underlying study was to obtain accurate estimates of the number and demographic/socioeconomic profile of the U.S. population living in close proximity to active oil and gas wells. It was motivated by the rapid growth in unconventional oil and gas production and the lack of reliable methods and figures. We used a combination of GIS mapping and spatial statistics tools to combine spatial information on the location of active oil and gas wells with Census Bureau data on population distribution and characteristics. Significant effort was spent on building clean and comprehensive GIS data layers and details on the protocol will be discussed. The processing time of the resulting Census block and block group data at nearly complete national level was considerable and we will highlight opportunities for efficiency gains. In principle, our method is adaptable to other applications as long as spatial information is available at sufficiently high resolution.