Transitions, transitions …

Year end 2021 will see the end of two venerable oil and gas institutions as Energistics shuts up shop in Houston and Common Data Access closes its doors in London.

The UK Government’s Oil & Gas Authority flipped the switch on the UK National Data Repository on the 1st of July 2021, marking the end of an era for Common Data Access, the industry-backed provider of seismic and well data services. CDA was founded some 25 years ago by UK operators and later resulted in the creation of UKOilandGasData, a collaborative online data sharing platform.

The Wood Review of 2013 suggested that oil and gas data would be better managed and distributed by the government and set the ball rolling on a National Data Repository, run by OGA. CDA’s data provided the foundation of the NDR, which launched in 2019. In 2020, OGA contracted Osokey, a UK-based provider of cloud-based subsurface data management to upgrade the NDR with an Esri ArcGIS Online frontend.

Invited to ‘explore the new improved NDR’ we were met with a ‘Firefox web browser has been detected. A Chromium-based web browser is required to access the full NDR functionality’. Whatever. Some 50 years’ worth of crucial North Sea data is already available from the NDR with ‘up to 4,000% more’ data coming over the next five years to ‘maximize opportunities for the energy sector, inform investment decisions and assist the drive towards net zero’. Data from the NDR is free of charge up to a 3TB/month limit over which a ‘minimal charge’ is made.

As the new NDR goes live, CDA and UKOilandGasData have reached the end of the line. Daniel Brown, CDA’s executive director said, ‘CDA’s efforts to support data sharing between operators laid the foundations of a massively successful industry project that not only saved well over £250 million during its lifetime and was key to the creation of the UK NDR. CDA wishes the OGA and Osokey well as they launch this next generation of UK NDR, which will be a key resource for oil and gas, for the carbon capture and storage industry, and for geoscience researchers worldwide for many years to come.’

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Meanwhile, over in Houston it was announced that Energistics, the upstream data standards body formerly known as the Petroleum Open Software Consortium will likewise be closing its doors at year-end 2021. The move derived largely from the overlap of Energistics’ membership with the shiny new Open Subsurface Data Universe, OSDU. The corporations that call the shots deemed that one membership subscription was better than two and jointly opted to stay with The Open Group, home to OSDU. Energistics is putting a brave face on the changes and is to become an ‘affiliate’ of TOG, retaining a web presence. But the staff will be laid off and ongoing maintenance of the Energistics standards will be up to the goodwill of the community. More from the Energistics in Transition web page.

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