A new resource has been launched to help usher in a new era of North Sea oil and gas exploration.
The Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) has launched the National Data Repository (NDR), a free online platform placing the UK sector as a “world leader” on subsurface petroleum information.
Its launch is thought to be one of the largest ever single releases of data, comprising 130 terabytes of information on wells, fields and pipelines.
The information is being made freely available in the hopes of attracting new investment into the North Sea, helping recover the 20 billion barrels of oil estimated to be remaining in the region.
Nic Granger, director of Corporate at the OGA, 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.”
The repository will be managed by Common Data Access, a subsidiary of trade body Oil and Gas UK, who said it puts the region top of the world rankings on low-cost access to oil and gas information.
The OGA, the industry regulator, said the NDR is an opportunity for firms to use historical data to inform artificial intelligence technology and uncover previously overlooked oil and gas prospects.
The NDR is funded through taxes paid by all petroleum licence holders in the North Sea.
Its launch has been hailed by energy “supermajors” Chevron and BP.
Ariel Flores, BP’s North Sea regional president, believes it could bring a “step change” to oil recovery in the UK sector.
He said: “Sharing data and information to build knowledge across the basin is key to maximising economic recovery from the UK.”