Oil and Gas Authority launches massive public data release

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The Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) has unveiled what is believed to be one of the largest ever single open releases of data with the launch of the nation’s first UK oil and gas national data repository (NDR).

Freely-available to all, the NDR is an online platform which is home to 130 terabytes of well, geophysical, field and infrastructure data (equivalent to around eight years’ worth of HD movies) covering more than 12,500 wellbores, 5,000 seismic surveys, and 3,000 pipelines. The NDR can be found at 
https://ndr.ogauthority.co.uk/

The NDR aims to help achieve maximum economic recovery (MER) of the estimated 20bn barrels of oil and gas that remains in UK waters; unlocking new investment, new technology and more exploration activity. In addition, the NDR will play an important role in the energy transition, including for example enabling future carbon capture, usage and storage (CCUS) projects, due to the wealth of reservoir and infrastructure data available.

Nic Granger, Director of Corporate at the OGA, said: ‘The world is arguably entering a “fourth industrial revolution” with data at its heart. The NDR is a UK first and is an important milestone in our vision to enable open, transparent data. The platform makes data available for machine learning and artificial intelligence and offers the opportunity to uncover new prospects and previously overlooked plays.'

Simon James, Chief Information Officer at the OGA, added: ‘The NDR creates research opportunities for both technology and analysis. For the industry, it means access to a huge data pool to harness digital technology, relieves them of the regulatory requirement to retain information, and enhances collaboration. For the OGA, it means sustainable curation, maximising data for MER while enabling compliance monitoring.’

Commenting on the launch, Claire Perry, Minister for Energy and Clean Growth, said: ‘The UK’s oil and gas industry is an integral part of the economy, contributing over £334bn in taxes while meeting around half of our energy needs. The NDR will help position the sector at the front of the data revolution and enable industry to unlock the full potential of the UK Continental Shelf, delivering further energy security, tax revenues and the high paid jobs that are at the centre of our modern Industrial Strategy.’

Meanwhile, Professor John Underhill, Chief Scientist & Chair of Exploration Geoscience, Heriot-Watt University, noted: ‘The OGA’s efforts in releasing and providing public access to data via the new NDR will be a game-changer for academics undertaking subsurface research that benefits geoscience in general and the wider academic community.’

A consultation, carried out in 2017, sought views on establishing and maintaining the NDR, which it was proposed would be funded through the OGA levy, payable by all offshore petroleum licence holders.

‘The NDR will help position the [UK oil and gas] sector at the front of the data revolution and enable industry to unlock the full potential of the UK Continental Shelf, delivering further energy security, tax revenues and the high paid jobs that are at the centre of our modern Industrial Strategy,’ said Claire Perry, Minister for Energy and Clean Growth
Photo: BEIS

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