Challenge: Massachusetts Division of Energy Resources needed to establish a sound basis for future energy policies and emergency plans, but lacked a comprehensive current assessment of the physical infrastructure and distribution of petroleum products in their region. New England is the one remaining region in the continental U.S. relying predominantly on heating oil for homes, with natural gas not widely available. A number of oil product terminals and pipelines had closed over years, and many companies changed ownership. From a geographic viewpoint the system has some nodes vulnerable to disruption through accidents, terrorism or just natural disasters.
Solution: ICF Consulting were retained to develop databases and maps of facilities, supply and demand, utilization, prepare a report on current storage/distribution infrastructure, vulnerabilities and recommend mitigation measures such as regulatory change, capital investment, operations. ICF were selected because of our experience with DOE’s national Strategic Petroleum Reserve, our knowledge of storage terminals, and demonstrated GIS cartographic and analytic skills.
Benefits: Massachusetts DOER gets a GIS system for use in-house in policy and emergency analysis. This is fully compliant with MassGIS standards for data layers and symbology, and is extensible to follow-on projects to analyze energy security of natural gas and electricity supply.