OGA to unlock ‘members only’ oil and gas treasure trove map for MER N. Sea production

The Oil and Gas Authority has started consultations on its proposal to transform the industry’s  private-member-only data platform into a publicly accessible new National Data Repository (NDR)

The service would continue to be delivered by Common Data Access albeit under contract to the N. Sea oil and gas regulator.

The on-line platform allows the industry to meet its statutory obligations to share data on wells and seismic research in the N. Sea as well as providing a range of valuable collaborative data sharing and management services for industry. 

The new N. Sea seismic data ‘treasure trove’ would be funded through the OGA levy paid by all offshore oil and gas operators and is aimed at Maximising Economic Recovery (MER) by enforcing (voluntary) ‘collaboration’.

Common Data Access Ltd is a not-for-profit subsidiary of Oil & Gas UK, set up in 1995 to provide data management services to its members and to the oil industry.

However, access to the CDA repository and full benefits of the service, including the collaborative functionality to share information within licence groups, is limited to fee paying subscribers only.

The OGA regards the establishment of a public ‘treasure trove’ as an important commitment in fulfilling a key recommendation of the Wood Maximising Recovery Review in ensuring ready access to timely and transparent data to facilitate MER UK.

An OGA spokesman said: “The big prize from the North Sea  is still significant with 10 to 20 billion barrels of reserves remaining.

“Unlocking this requires access to good quality data and the creation of a NDR would be a vital step in ensuring data is easily available to stimulate investment and exploration to deliver maximum economic recovery.

“An NDR will preserve, regulate and provide greater access to the country’s collection of high quality petroleum-related information.

The OGA is proposing to establish a two-year contract with CDA to offer services, including access to qualifying elements of the current data, to establish an NDR that will be available to all levy payers.

If taken forward, this service would be funded through an increase in the levy, but would include a removal of the corresponding CDA membership fees.

It is expected that the levy-funded NDR service would start operating in January 2019.

The consultation period closes on 8 December 2017.

13 Nov 2017

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