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Nov 16, 2021 Luke Ashton

Exploring FERC’s Decade Drop

Visual Analysis Tool

Ten Years of Historical Data Deliver New Insights 

Last month, the FERC released its Decade Drop: ten years’ worth of annual and quarterly reports filed by regulated energy companies, with every number, from every schedule of every form, delivered as its own data field, separately searchable.

HData is the first commercially-available platform to publish the entire Decade Drop, supporting new industry-specific business intelligence for our customers. Below are a few examples of analyses that would have been difficult or impossible before the Decade Drop — but are now available in seconds.

Ten Years of Electricity, Natural Gas, and Oil Industry Finance Data

This collection of historical data reveals several interesting facts, one of the most evident being the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on FERC-regulated industries. Data obtained from the FERC XBRL Decade Drop show that operating revenues for the entire industry of oil, natural gas, and electricity declined between 2019 and 2020. However, the impact was not equal. Total industry operating revenue for natural gas and electricity dropped less than 1% each, but oil revenues declined by a stark 6.4% between 2019 and 2020.* It may be obvious for oil companies, but consumer demand for oil declined as workers went remote and companies cut non-essential travel. An analysis from the Energy Information Administration confirms this, adding that daily consumption of oil in the United States declined by more than two million barrels.

*This is out of 226 oil companies regulated by the FERC that filed Form 6 annual reports in 2019 and 2020.


The COVID 19 pandemic impacted individual utility companies differently; some experienced net gains while others saw net losses. The above visualization shows how particular companies performed relative to the max and min of the entire FERC-regulated industry. The visualization below highlights the 10 largest utilities by operating revenue. Pacific Gas and Electric in particular is one to take note of. While they saw revenues increase between 2019 and 2020, massive expenses plagued the company. The pandemic wasn’t to blame. Rather, it was wildfires in California that destroyed much of the transmission infrastructure for PG&E in the affected areas. PG&E has quickly bounced back. 



Oil companies were impacted the most during the pandemic. With a sudden decline in demand for oil, operating revenues quickly followed. However, some companies bucked the trend and out-performed the industry average. The visualization above compares each FERC-regulated oil company that filed in 2019 and 2020 against the industry average. The below visualization highlights the 10 largest oil companies by operating revenue.



Published by Luke Ashton November 16, 2021