big data

Since the 1980s, the world’s capacity to store information has roughly doubled every 40 months. Putting all that information to use through effective searching, analysis, sharing and application is wrapped up in a broad term known as big data. The field of energy research is no exception and has its very own expanding world of big data issues including using tremendous amounts of information to study the challenges of exploring remote and extreme environments to meet increasing energy needs. NETL is continually expanding its big data capabilities to answer the broad challenges of today and tomorrow.

NETL experts have created tools to handle the ever-expanding sea of data related to energy research. They use those tools for detecting data trends, reducing geologic uncertainty, identifying knowledge gaps and evaluating environmental risks for carbon storage activities, as well as conventional and unconventional hydrocarbon uses in onshore and offshore regions. It is all a part of NETL’s focus on producing science-based evaluations of both engineered and natural systems to ensure sustainable and environmentally responsible access to domestic energy resources.

NETL’s big data arsenal also includes a growing suite of technical data management tools. Their names are as complex as their purpose: Subsurface Databook, Subsurface Trend Analysis, Cumulative Spatial Impact Layers, Spatially Weighted Impact Model, Spatially Integrated Multivariate Probability Assessment tool, the Blowout Spill Occurrence Model, and the Variable Grid Method. Used together or separately, these powerful data-driven tools and approaches are used to support risk assessment, risk prevention and a range of scientific analytical or regulatory decision making needs. NETL also uses one of the world’s fastest and most energy efficient supercomputers to discover new materials, optimize designs and make predictions about operational characteristics of new energy systems.

These big data capabilities and efforts are more ways that NETL uses cutting-edge technology to ensure a secure energy future for the nation.