The Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) is seeking views from the UK oil and gas industry on the establishment of a United Kingdom National Data Repository (NDR), which would be funded through the OGA levy payable by all offshore petroleum licensees.

A four-week consultation opens today (10 November 2017) to gather feedback and insights from industry on the creation of an NDR required to improve access to UK petroleum related information, which will help to promote investment and deliver the principal objective of maximising the economic recovery of UK petroleum (MER UK)[1].

Offshore petroleum licensees have obligations to report licence-related information to the OGA, which many licensees discharge primarily through a digital data repository operated by Common Data Access Limited (CDA) which is a subsidiary of Oil & Gas UK, which is a trade association for the UK offshore oil and gas industry.

However, access to the CDA repository and full benefits of the service, including the collaborative functionality to share information within licence groups, is limited to fee paying subscribers only.

The OGA regards the establishment of a UK NDR as an important commitment in fulfilling a key recommendation of the Wood Maximising Recovery Review, in ensuring ready access to timely and transparent data to facilitate MER UK. An NDR will preserve, regulate and provide greater access to the country’s collection of high quality petroleum-related information.

Nic Granger, Director of Corporate, OGA said: “The prize from the UKCS is still significant with 10 to 20 billion barrels of reserves remaining. Unlocking this requires access to good quality data and the creation of a UK NDR would be a vital step in ensuring data is easily available to stimulate investment and exploration to deliver maximum economic recovery from the UK.”

The OGA is proposing to establish a two-year contract with CDA to offer services, including access to qualifying elements of the current data, to establish an NDR that will be available to all levy payers. If taken forward, this service would be funded through an increase in the levy, but would include a removal of the corresponding CDA membership fees.

It is expected that the levy funded NDR service would commence in January 2019. The consultation period closes on 8 December 2017.


Notes to Editor:

  1. The Wood Maximising Recovery Review, published in February 2014 stated: "The ready access to timely data is a prerequisite for a competitive market and this is even more important in an industry which relies on good data to create value". The OGA Activity Plan 2017 and 2018 stated the intention to implement an operating model for a NDR to improve access to offshore petroleum related information.
  2. The OGA is seeking the oil and gas industry's view on its proposal to establish and maintain a United Kingdom Oil and Gas National Data Repository (NDR), with a proposed increase to the levy payable by all petroleum licensees to cover the costs, which would be matched by a removal of equivalent CDA fees from January 2019.
  3. The OGA are committed to setting the levy in a fair and transparent manner. It recognises that industry faces significant challenges and that new costs are unwelcome, however it is essential the OGA has appropriate resources to work with industry and government to deliver MER UK.
  4. In setting the levy for 2018/19, the OGA remains committed to value for money and will aim to keep the running costs of the authority flat, in real terms.
  5. If there is support for the proposal to fund the NDR by an increase in levy, the OGA will establish a contract with CDA for the services in scope. The CDA is aware, and is, in principle, supportive of the OGA's plans.

[1] As set out in s.9A of the Petroleum Act 1998