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Adam Sieminski receives Boy Scout award

January 18

The Boy Scouts of America's National Capital Area Council (NCAC) honored EIA Administrator Adam Sieminski on January 11 for his support of EIA's annual Scout Day and for providing STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) educational opportunities for youth.

NCAC Scout Executive and CEO, Les Baron, along with several other NCAC officials, presented the award to Adam during a special ceremony at the Forrestal building in front of the EIA employees and contractors who have volunteered at EIA Scout Day over the years as merit badge counselors and support staff.

Baron noted that more than 600 boy scouts and girl scouts have learned about energy and nuclear science at EIA's five Scout Day events. The annual gathering is a top STEM learning event for scouts in the Washington, DC area.

Thanks to Adam's strong support and the help of many volunteers from EIA, the National Nuclear Security Administration, and other U.S. Department of Energy offices, EIA's Scout Day has become more popular each year. The class seats usually fill up within minutes after online registration opens. After the award ceremony, Adam inquired about the date for the 2017 EIA Scout Day because he hopes to volunteer for the event.

--Tom Doggett, Office of Communications

Faouzi Aloulou and Danya Murali address trade association leaders in Washington, DC

October 19

On September 20, 2016, Faouzi Aloulou and Danya Murali from EIA's Office of Petroleum, Natural Gas, and Biofuels Analysis addressed the Energy Equipment and Infrastructure Alliance (EEIA) Council in Washington, DC. The audience included 25 senior leaders of trade associations that represent most of the major U.S. industries in the shale development supply chain.

According to its website, EEIA represents more than one million workers that are employed in every state at more than 120,000 companies in 60 industries, who annually contribute more than $170 billion to the U.S. economy. They provide construction, well services, capital equipment, supplies, logistics, professional services, and information technology support of shale operations.

Faouzi and Danya presented the findings of EIA's latest Short-Term Energy Outlook (September 2016), and they presented data from the Drilling Productivity Report, which includes EIA estimates of drilled but uncompleted wells (DUCs). Their presentation was titled, The response of the U.S. shale gas and tight oil production to changes in prices and drilled but uncompleted (DUC) wells.

--Faouzi Aloulou, Office of Energy Analysis

OGS&FS Team presented EIA Utica Shale play maps at the AAPG conference in Calgary, Canada

August 31

On June 22, Gary Long, Neal Davis, Emily Geary, Steven Grape, Jeffrey Little, Elizabeth Panarelli, and Olga Popova (presenting author) of the Oil and Gas Supply and Financial Statistics (OGS&FS) Team presented updated Utica Shale play maps at the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG) conference in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. The group gave their presentation at the Unconventional resources—continuously evolving and expanding what we know and exploring what we do session. These posters are products of the Mapping Project Updates to the U.S. Energy Information Administration Shale and Tight Formation Play Maps project. Recent updates to the Utica Shale play maps help describe hydrocarbon production and sweet spot distribution. This information helps people understand production trends within the geologic framework.

The EIA presentation attracted the attention of many stakeholders, including representatives from industry, academia, and government agencies. With a global audience of approximately 7,000 professionals from more than 72 countries, the AAPG conference is one of the most popular events in the geosciences community because it typically has a strong technical program, state-of-the-art technology displays, and networking activities.

--Olga Popova, Office of Energy Statistics

Congrats to OES for their participation in the 2016 JSM and on their colleague's ASA fellow recognition!

August 19

The Office of Energy Statistics (OES) recently participated in the 2016 Joint Statistical Meetings (JSM) in Chicago. The event was jointly sponsored by the American Statistical Association (ASA) and other international statistical organizations. From July 30 to August 4, EIA staff from the Office of Survey Development and Statistical Integration (SDSI) and the Office of Energy Consumption and Efficiency Statistics (ECES) participated in meetings and presentations at the 2016 JSM. This annual meeting is the largest statistical conference in North America, and more than 6,000 statisticians attend every year.

  • Edgardo Cureg, SDSI, and Shaofen Deng, ECES, coauthored a poster presentation discussing a statistical calibration model that calibrates the engineering end-use estimates to the reported total consumption data from the Energy Supplier Survey, which is part of the Residential Energy Consumption Survey (RECS). Their poster compared the major electricity end-use estimates of an engineering calibration model to the existing model based on the 2009 RECS.

  • As chair of the ASA Privacy and Confidentiality (P&C) Committee, Jacob Bournazian, SDSI, presented the results from a study of survey respondents' perceptions of EIA's ability to protect the confidentiality of its survey data. The study showed that survey respondents have more trust in EIA to protect the confidentiality of its data than they have in the federal government in general. The results also showed that respondents do not understand statistical technical terms such as disclosure limitation methodologies. EIA could strengthen its trust relationship with respondents by communicating with respondents and by explaining the data safeguards it applies to protect survey data.

  • David Kinyon, SDSI, presented results of initial research to calculate estimated measures of sampling variability for EIA's Weekly Natural Gas Storage Report (WNGSR). This research was conducted by an EIA team that included David Kinyon, Samson Adeshiyan, and Joe Conklin of SDSI and Jose Villar of the Office of Oil, Gas, and Coal Supply Statistics. Based on this research, which focused on estimates produced from the most recent WNGSR sample, it appears that EIA can estimate accurate measures of sampling variability by using a repeatable process, which EIA can implement beginning this fall to enhance the content of future WNGSR releases.

In a related ASA milestone for EIA, Renee Miller of SDSI was named a fellow of the ASA in June for her long-term contributions to applied statistics and survey methodology at EIA and in the federal statistical system. She was recognized in the ASA President's Address and Founders and Fellows Recognition held August 2, 2016, at the JSM.

Congratulations to the OES staff for their participation in 2016 JSM, and congratulations to ASA's new fellow, Renee!

--Joseph Conklin, Office of Survey Development and Statistical Integration

Ayaka goes to China

July 27

In May 2016, Ayaka Jones of the Office of Energy Analysis traveled to Beijing, China, where she showcased EIA's statistics practices at the International Workshop on Energy Statistics and gained deeper insight into Chinese statistics through one-on-one conversations with national and provincial energy statistics experts.

The United Nations Statistics Division and the National Bureau of Statistics of China organized the three-day workshop with support from the International Energy Agency. This workshop was funded by the Chinese government as part of a series of events organized under the China Trust Fund Project to strengthen statistical capacity in China and other developing countries in Asia.

The workshop covered more than 30 topics on issues related to collecting, compiling, and harmonizing energy statistics under the International Recommendations for Energy Statistics (IRES). The workshop sessions included training on how to implement the recommendations in IRES; discussions on issues that countries face with collecting, compiling, and disseminating energy statistics; and opportunities to share national experiences. About 90 representatives participated in the workshop from:

  • The United Nations Statistics Division
  • The International Energy Agency
  • Institute of Energy Economics, Japan
  • About a dozen developing Asian countries
  • The National Bureau of Statistics of China
  • 30 Chinese provincial statistics bureaus

Ayaka also had the opportunity to discuss extensively a wide range of issues of interest to EIA with national and provincial energy statistics experts. Following the workshop, the United Nations Statistics Division requested to highlight EIA's statistical processes and methods in the Generic Statistical Business Process Model user manual and the Energy Statistics Compilers Manual it is developing.

--Rachel Tran, Office of Communications

EIA hosts energy delegation from Vietnam

June 27

Vietnam plans to expand its electrical and transportation sector over the next two decades as it converts from a primarily agrarian economy to a more industrialized economy.

The EIA presentation addressed several questions the delegation sent prior to arriving at the Forrestal Building:

  • What is EIA's role in consolidating renewable energy resource and forecast information?
  • What methodologies/tools does EIA employ for historical reports and forecasts?
  • How does EIA maintain database and reports of renewable energy production?
  • How does EIA interact with states, regional transmission organizations, and utilities?
  • What methodologies, analysis, and tools does EIA use for industrial energy efficiency reporting and benchmarking?
  • What policies and programs exist related to industrial energy efficiency compliance, incentives, and penalties in the United States?

Additionally, representatives of the delegation were interested in the role of internal statistical organizations within larger agencies like the U.S. Department of Transportation. The event ended with a group photo and a discussion of potential future collaboration efforts.

--Slade Johnson, Office of Energy Analysis

EIA launches first in government data add-on tool for Google Sheets

June 20

The U.S. Energy Information Administration recently released a free data add-on tool for Google Sheets. This add-on is the first government add-on developed for Google Sheets and was developed in coordination with Google to ensure compatibility and usability. Similar to EIA's Microsoft Excel extension, the new Sheets add-on allows users to use Google Sheets to browse EIA's energy API data categories or to search keywords to find domestic and international energy data for the production, consumption, and price of different fuels, as well as EIA's short-term forecasts and long-term projections.

The Google Sheets add-on works like the Excel version. Users can find, search, browse, query, and automatically update data series, essentially giving users access to any data EIA has available in the API. Throughout EIA's website, the key symbol identifies a link to a page with the series API source key. The refresh button updates all data series in the spreadsheet to the latest EIA data with just one click. Like the Excel add-in, Sheets provides one-click instant download of the entire time series. Google's tool also comes with a spark-line chart that gives users an instant preview of the data series over time.

Google Sheets is a free online spreadsheet alternative that you can access and share from anywhere through a web browser or through an app on your smartphone or tablet. The free add-on is available through the Chrome Webstore.

--Melinda Hobbs, Office of Communications

Energy Ant goes nuclear

June 16

EIA's Energy Ant hitched a ride with analyst Justine Barden when she recently toured Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant in nearby Lusby, Maryland.

Justine was one of 19 members of the Washington, DC chapter of the U.S. Association for Energy Economics who visited the plant in May. Her name was selected in a lottery of 75 of the group's members who signed up for the plant tour (there just wasn't room for everybody on the bus). Most of the visit involved a question and answer session with an Exelon company representative about how nuclear power plants work, related safety and security measures, and the competitive environment for U.S. electric generators that face growing renewable energy sources and low natural gas prices. During the morning of the visit, Exelon announced that the company might close two nuclear plants in Illinois (hence the competitive environment discussion).

During the tour, Justine checked out a replica of the nuclear power plant's control room, where she snapped a photo of Energy Ant messing with the flickering buttons and switches. Energy Ant brought a smile to at least one plant employee's face because he had never before seen anyone take a picture of a "stuffed doll" in the control room.

Justine's work here at EIA does not focus on nuclear energy issues. As a member of EIA's international energy analysis teams, she covers Europe and Eurasia for EIA's country analysis briefs and for the global petroleum supply section of the Short-Term Energy Outlook. Still, she didn't want to miss the chance to take a rare tour of Calvert Cliffs. As with most U.S. nuclear power plants, general public tours of Calvert Cliffs ended after the 9/11 attacks for security reasons. However, special group visits can be arranged.

--Tom Doggett, Office of Communications

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