Regulatory round-up

Canadian Centre for Energy Information. Ropes & Gray’s ‘deep dive’ into new SEC oil transparency rules. New XML data checking for North Dakota reporting. Texas RRC streamlines online reporting. Biden administration puts new PHMSA rule in doubt. OSDU data store for NPD Diskos 2.0. Norway’s oil and gas metrology explained, new seismic survey reporting. UK OGA gets tough on reporting compliance, ESG taskforce established. dGB/PanTerra to Netherlands Economic Ministry ‘TNO’s NLOG is seriously outdated’. EITI mandates contract publication though disclosure remains patchy.

North America

The Government of Canada has launched the Canadian Centre for Energy Information, a website providing ‘comprehensive, accessible, reliable energy information’. The website, a joint effort from Natural Resources Canada, Statistics Canada, Environment and Climate Change Canada, and the Canada Energy Regulator, is said to deliver on the Government of Canada’s Budget 2019 ‘commitment to develop the CCEI website’.

The Houston Chronicle reports that the SEC now requires American oil and mining companies to report on payments to foreign governments, after a decade-long lobbying campaign by oil companies to weaken transparency efforts. The watered-down rules only cover overall payments to governments. Ropes & Gray LLP have published a ‘deep dive’ into the new rules.

The February 2021 issue of the North Star newsletter from the North Dakota Department of Mineral Resources includes details of a new XML reporting format and reporting workflow. XML files can be generated using a supplied Excel template. On upload, data is validated against an XSD schema and a ‘pass’, ‘warning’ or ‘fail’ status is returned. All errors are visible to the submitter. Files that pass the validation process are then tested against business rules such as ‘Is the submitter the operator of the facility?’ Submitters then receive feedback on what was fully accepted into the system and what was not, including reasons for non-acceptance.

The Railroad Commission of Texas has launched a new website to make online resources for the regulation of the energy industry more user-friendly. Visit the new RRC website and watch the Youtube demo.

Earlier this year, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration has issued a final rule ‘that eases regulatory burdens for gas transmission, distribution, and gathering pipeline system operators without compromising safety’. The then PHMSA administrator Skip Elliott stated ‘Safety is always the Department’s top priority… [but?] ... It is our responsibility to ensure that we do not overburden the industry with unnecessary operating costs.’ The mooted rule change was to provide cost savings of $132 million from more ‘flexible’ inspection requirements and a ‘revised’ inspection interval for corrosion monitoring of gas pipelines. Following the US presidential election, Elliot was replaced by Tristan Brown. More from PHMSA.


The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) has confirmed the award of the Diskos 2.0 to Landmark (subsurface and production data) and Kadme (trade module). The five-year contracts have a total estimated value of NOK 157. A new IT architecture is said to ‘facilitate the use of open industry standards such as the OSDU platform, and the use of … machine learning and artificial intelligence’. Diskos 2.0 is scheduled to launch mid-2022.

A position paper from the NPD explains the rationale behind the measurement and metering of oil and gas produced from the Norwegian shelf. Hydrocarbons from the NCS were valued at NOK 424 billion in 2019. Oil companies also paid some NOK 5.5 billion in CO2 taxes.

The NPD has also announced a new system for reporting geophysical surveys. This is to replace an older ‘cumbersome’ system which did not accommodate newer digital technology. The new system is a ‘digital milestone for the NPD’ and has been developed on the NPD’s new IT platform. The NPD has also released a new edition of its FactPages and FactMaps resources, now customized for PC, tablet and mobile phone.


The Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) has opened an investigation into a possible breach of reporting requirements under a license. The investigation follows the 2020 publication of a ‘thematic review into industry compliance with regulatory obligations’ which found that ‘too many issues [were] taking too long to resolve’ and warned that ‘we will be progressively more proactive in using the OGA’s powers’.

OGA has also set up an Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) taskforce to plug a gap between investor expectations and what is reported. The taskforce will study flaring and venting, scope 1 & 2 emissions, HSE statistics and more. OGA is to develop an action plan to support a low-carbon economy. More from OGA.


dGB Earth Sciences and PanTerra Geoconsultants have written to the Netherlands Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate to request that public data released under the Dutch mining law should be more accessible. Data is currently released via the TNO’s NLOG, a platform that is ‘seriously outdated’. NLOG lacks an underlying database built on modern open data standards. Valuable information is hidden and unsuitable for data mining. The authors of the petition advocate that Dutch released data be released in alignment with The Open Group OSDU Forum data platform, ‘a widely supported open-source initiative within the energy sector’.


From 1 January 2021, all 55 countries implementing the EITI Standard will be required to publish new and amended contracts, licenses and agreements concluded with extractive companies. To date, many contracts are unpublished, ‘increasing the opacity of the extractive sector and making it more vulnerable to corruption’. More from the EITI’s #opendeals202 campaign.

An EITI study of 25 countries found that only 25% of the data required by the EITI Standard is systematically disclosed. Norway tops the charts with 92% of data disclosed at source. A new tool from the EITI shows what is being disclosed systematically, and where.

Click here to comment on this article

Click here to view this article in context on a desktop

© Oil IT Journal - all rights reserved.