The UK Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) has launched the UK’s first oil and gas National Data Repository (NDR), in what it claims to be one of the largest ever single open data releases.

The NDR contains 130 terabytes of geophysical, infrastructure, field and well data. This is, the OGA says, the equivalent of around eight years’ worth of HD movies. This data covers more than 12,500 wellbores, 5,000 seismic surveys and 3,000 pipelines.

OGA chief information officer Simon James said: “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.”

The goals of the NDR include helping to recover 20 billion barrels of oil and gas and creating more exploration activity, as well as unlocking new investments and technologies.

OGA director of corporate Nic Granger said: “The world is arguably entering a ‘fourth industrial revolution’, with data at its heart. The National Data Repository 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.”

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The OGA says it expects the NDR to play a role in the energy transition of the UK oil and gas industry, with the reservoir and infrastructure data supporting future carbon capture, usage and storage projects.

On 22 March 2019, the OGA announced it had secured a $1.1m (£900,000) grant from the Better Regulation Executive’s Regulator’s Pioneer Fund for a project to support the UK oil and gas industry in transitioning to renewable forms of energy.

BP North Sea regional president Ariel Flores said: “Effective use of data can be a game-changer in the oil and gas sector, delivering improved safety, reliability and efficiency, yet the value of existing datasets are never fully realised.

“The NDR should bring about a step change, bolstering the UK’s digital infrastructure and liberating data flows to unlock a wealth of new opportunities that could ultimately boost recovery.”