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OGA Makes 50 Years of North Sea Data Freely Available to Everyone

Michael Behr

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North Sea Data OGA
After moving its database to the cloud, the OGA will massively increase the volume of available data in the coming months.

The Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) has released over 50 years of North Sea data as part of its National Data Repository (NDR).

By introducing the new data, the OGA aims to help companies with exploration and production efficiency work.

In addition, the organisation said that the work will help drive the country’s transition to net zero, particularly by identifying potential sites for carbon storage.

Improved access to subsurface data can help companies working in carbon capture and storage (CCS) to anticipate and rank potential sites, as well as minimise containment risk by assessing the reservoir.

The move will provide users with immediate access to data that was previously expensive and time-consuming to retrieve. Data on the platform will be aligned to common standards, so users will not have to spend time and money reformatting the information, making it ready for analysis.

Not only that, but being stored in commonly used formats means that the data can be used to train artificial intelligence systems using techniques such as machine learning.

“Accessible data is absolutely essential to the future of the industry. It’s vital for exploration, production and for reuse and decommissioning and the drive to net zero,” said OGA Director of Corporate and Chief Financial Officer Nic Granger.

“The OGA is determined to meet that need by taking data and digital to the next level to enable a digital energy transition. The enhanced NDR is a key part of that improved service which we are proud to offer to industry.”

The NDR is a cloud-based project by the OGA to provide petroleum-related information and samples to companies and other groups. This helps operators and academia make informed decisions and derive the maximum value from data. It is used by more than 100 energy companies to report data under the Energy Act 2016 and Petroleum Act 1998.


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When it was originally opened in 2019, the NDR held around 100 terabytes of well, geophysical, and other petroleum licence data. The OGA expects to add an additional 400TB of data to the Digital Energy Platform in the coming months.

The latest version of the project, released in July, is publicly accessible for maximum transparency. With the transition to a cloud-based model, the new platform eliminates the need for physical storage which, as well as reducing costs, enables users to visualise data before downloading the data they need. The enhanced functionality also allows large quantities of data to be downloaded directly without the need to order.

Backed by its regulatory powers, the OGA expects that increase the volume of data on the platform by about 4000% over the next five years.

Energy and Climate Change Minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan said: “Across industry, government and academia, data is key to ensure the UK continues to lead the world in tackling climate change and builds back greener.

“The National Data Repository will provide greater accessibility to the data needed to support the UK’s oil and gas sector in the transition to a low-carbon energy future, including identifying sites for carbon storage, which is key to us meeting our climate commitments.”

Michael Behr

Senior Staff Writer

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