We've put together some hints or tips on using the North Sea Transition Authority Open Data site based on queries we often receive.

  • What data is published on the Open Data Site?

    Certain offshore U.K. continental shelf (UKCS petroleum datasets, as well as onshore England petroleum data. These include, amongst others, GIS datasets, data packages supporting licence rounds, production data, well results and header information.

    The NSTA does not publish onshore data for Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland. No onshore infrastructure data is available for any location in the UK. Geothermal activity data is also not currently published by the NSTA.

    The detail or granularity of the data provided is dependent on the dataset. Datasets can include information accessed through voluntary release by a company or disclosed via regulations under the Petroleum Act 1998 or Energy Act 2016. 

  • Can I subscribe to data updates and schema structure changes?

    Subscriptions to data updates or changes are not available. The NSTA’s datasets can occasionally change due to the addition of publishable information, among other reasons. A page has been created which highlights any changes we make to datasets, that may affect you. Please see the GIS Improvements and Changes page here.

  • How do I report a problem with a map or data?

  • Do you have a map I can use for my presentation/press release/personal use?

    There are PDF maps by quadrant, region and UK wide on the PDF Map page. Alternatively, make your own map using the ‘print’ widget button on the online interactive maps for onshore and offshore

  • Is there any documentation which defines the attribute names?

    At present, there is not documentation available which defines the attribute names. However, aliases are being added to attribute column names where possible. These are visible when you search for the data on the open data site, click the dataset and then ‘view data table’. The aliases are also visible when using shapefiles or feature services in GIS software and opening the attribute table.

    July 2021: Documentation for the PPRS dataset has been published, please see it here.

  • How do I connect to your web services and API's?

    There are multiple ways to connect to the data through web mapping services and API's. These can be accessed within your own GIS software or directly in web maps and applications, removing the data management overhead. You should contact your software vendor if you are unsure on how to connect to services and API’s in your chosen software.

    Web Maps

    To use our data in your web maps, enter this URL into your web browser: https://data.nstauthority.co.uk/arcgis/rest/services. Find the service you need and add the chosen URL dataset, one at a time, to your web map.

    Open Source APIs

    You must search for the dataset you would like in the Open Data Site search bar. Once you have found a dataset, open it and go to ‘View Full Details’. This will bring up a page where you can find API Resources, under the ‘I want to…’ header. The data is provided in OGC WMS, GeoService or GeoJSON formats.


    ESRI Software 

    If you use the ESRI suite of software, and would like to connect to our services within your own GIS software, please follow the below work flow.


    Open ArcCatalog

    Go to GIS servers

    'Add ArcGIS Server'

    Enter the following URL: https://data.nstauthority.co.uk/arcgis/rest/services.


    Petrel Software

    A guide has been put together to show petrel users how they can access the web services in Petrel Software. Please click here to view it.  

  • Is there an ‘all-in-one’ service or download?

    A single web service that includes every available dataset is not available.

    Web services must be added to web maps separately. However, you can download a zip file with all onshore or offshore shapefiles. You can also view many spatial datasets in one place on the online interactive maps for onshore and offshore oil and gas activity. 

  • What is in each web service?

    The ArcGIS REST services are split into different folders by the coordinate reference system (WGS84, ED50, ETRS89 and BNG). They are separated again by content, for example: licences, wells and fields.

    To learn more about the content in each service, read the summary information. This can be found via the Open Data Site’s main page. You must search for the data then select ‘view full details’.

  • How do I find shapefiles, spreadsheets, pdfs, kml files?

    You can use the search bar on the home page to search for all of our data. This includes spatial and non-spatial data types. 

  • How do I filter data and export the results I need?

    You can see and filter the information behind the datasets to narrow down your search results or to make the query more specific. This is a useful way to apply filters without downloading an entire dataset.

    Search for the data

    Click on the data title

    Open ‘view data table’

    Select the Filter symbol

    Tick the box for the column you’d like to filter by. (Start typing if filter options don’t automatically populate).

    Go to the Download button

    Toggle on filter button

    Export into the desired format  

  • Can I save the filters I make on the data?

    The filters you apply to a dataset can be saved in case you need to view the data on a timely basis. For example, viewing current production data for certain operators or fields. This will save you time and effort in the future if you need to reapply the same filters.

    See the above workflow on how to filter

    Copy the URL

    Save it as a shortcut on your desktop 

  • Why does my search for a specific licence/field/well result in 'no results found'?

    The search bar on our main page only searches for our header datasets, not the data within them. For example, if you are looking for a specific licence, you must search for one of our licence datasets, and then filter the dataset information in the filter tab. You can filter with partial strings (contains some of the text characters). This helps when you don’t know the exact name or number for a licence/field/well.

    Additionally, in the info tab, under number of records, it will say ‘view data table’ so you can see what the data is and what the columns are populated with.

  • Where can I find relinquishment reports?

    Relinquishment reports are available to find and download using this mapping application. Please use the app to find the relevant blocks or licence number, and these should contain a URL link to the report. In addition, you can view which reports have been published within the last 6 months.

    If you only require a list of the relinquishments, along with their report, please use this link to find this data. You can download the various versions (spreadsheet, shapefile, etc.) using the download button.

  • Where can I find company or stakeholder information?

    This depends on what you are looking for. For example, if you want to find a company who has relinquished a licence you would check the relinquishment reports on the relinquishment page.

    For a company production volume related query, go to the production page and filter by company on the PPRS spatial dashboard.

    Company stakeholder (% equity) information can be found in the field partner dataset

  • How do I download production data?

    On the Open Data Site homepage, navigate to the Production page. The Production page has some additional documentation on how to view and analyse the data. On the Production page you will find a PowerBI and ESRI spatial dashboard available, which you can use to slice and dice the data as you so wish. These are freely available and require no log in. .

  • Production data: how do I filter by reporting unit?

    In order to filter the production data, users will need to use the exact reporting unit name. To find the correct names we have created a document containing a unique list of the reporting units. Please see the document here.

  • Wells: Where can I get the symbology?

    We do not actively publish the wells symbology layer, however if you would like a copy of the ESRI LYR file, please download it here.

  • Wells: Where are the codes for the primary target attribute?

    The well codes for the primary target attribute are operator specific. If you would like to know more information, please contact the operator.