DEAL me in!

CDA/UKOOA fleshes out the specifications of the its UK data portal DEAL, while Schlumberger has ‘dealt’ itself back in, through the acquisition of infrastructure provider Data Marine Systems.

DEAL, The CDA/UKOOA information portal has announced the rollout schedule for its first service offerings. Already up and running are the Information Services - “iDEAL,” and the Data Marketplace “uDEAL.” The DEAL Unified Data Network - eDEAL is due for release on 15th December 2000.


iDEAL offers quick and simple access to a single, complete and reliable reference set of basic spatial and attribute data over the UKCS. DEAL prime contractor BGS is assembling the data from a variety of sources and populating the DEAL database after quality assurance.


uDEAL is a catalogue of UKCS geotechnical data products. The service is intended as a marketplace for users and vendors alike. Data vendors can publish details of their data products on DEAL by associating them with an existing spatial object (a well for example) or by creating objects on an existing map layer (creating an outline polygon showing the areal extent of say a regional geological report). Such information will be made visible to end users through the DEAL GIS interface. Fully-fledged e-commerce is envisaged in the future.


DEAL’s most ambitious concept will be a paying service. uDEAL extends data marketplace to include entitlement and e-commerce. uDEAL draws distributed data stores together into one unified virtual system. Users will be able to see what data exists and what data they are entitled to. First targeted data type is SEG-Y stacked seismic.


Schlumberger, although first in the UK’s data portal business with the LIFT facility, was originally excluded from DEAL. But the service behemoth has ‘dealt’ itself back in, with the acquisition of DEAL hosting contractor, Data Marine Systems (DMS). DMS was acquired last month by Schlumberger’s Network Solutions unit for an undisclosed sum.


Network Solutions president Xavier Flinois explained “This acquisition will enhance our global delivery infrastructure for secure connectivity. DMS owns and manages both a global VSAT based network and an extranet that provide secure and remote network access to over 100 companies in the oil and gas industry.” DMS was founded in 1988 and has grown to become a 200 employee company generating $50 million turnover.


DMS private network, OPNet offers a 2MB/sec bandwidth in the North Sea, with an upgrade to a new fiber network underway. DMS director Alan McLeod plans to “reproduce our successful Aberdeen-based partnering network in other regions such as the US, Latin America and East Asia” with help from the new owners.

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