OGA launches new national ‘land registry’ off North Sea oil and gas data to help drain the basin dry

A plan to create the first offshore ‘national land registry’ for the North Sea has been given the thumbs-up by the industry.

The Oil and Gas Authority has received significant support from industry to create the first Oil and Gas National Data Repository, which is now due to be launched in Spring 2019.

To do so, the OGA has upgraded the Open Data Centre which is now available, providing user friendly and free access to a wide range of data.

Users can view, map, style, chart, download and share data (under the terms and conditions set out in the Open Government Licence, unless otherwise stated) – in the same way the solicitors and conveyancing agents, finance companies and developers can view the deeds, mortgage-debt and planning details of all property on Scotland’s national Land Register in Edinburgh.

A consultation, carried out last year, sought views on establishing and maintaining the NDR, which would be funded through the OGA levy, payable by all offshore petroleum licence holders.

The OGA’s response to the consultation, published today, documents the response from licensees, trade associations, service providers and academia. It shows most respondents are supportive of funding the NDR through the levy, with 28 out 32 respondents backing the proposal.

Chevron was one of the few companies which consented to being named as a supporter of the new data repository.

While a number of other similar Big Oil explorers also support the plan, they have not agreed to being publicly named.

The NDR will preserve, regulate and provide greater access to the country’s collection of valuable petroleum-related information.

Delivering an oil and gas data ‘treasure vault’ is regarded by the OGA as an important commitment in fulfilling a key recommendation of the Wood Maximising Recovery Review, by ensuring ready access to timely and transparent data to help maximise the recovery of economically recoverable petroleum.

The future NDR will support regulatory compliance as well as providing a rich resource of comprehensive data for analysis, which will help drive inward investment, new technologies and exploration activity.

OGA spokesman Nic Granger said: “A national data repository < aka ‘register> is vital to unlocking the huge prize of the potential 10-20 billion barrels of still left in the North Sea basin.

“We are committed to creating an environment where enhanced and trusted data can deliver extra value for our sector, and achieve maximum economic recovery from the UK.”

The data repository – supported by proposed new regulations on petroleum-related information and samples – will enhance industry collaboration, preserve and protect valuable data, and help create the conditions to drive investment and new technologies.”

4 Apr 2018

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