CDA Scholarships for Petroleum Data Management Courses

CDA has awarded scholarships to four petroleum data management students. Wonuola Scott from Aberdeen and Nora Ribera from Argentina are studying the Graduate Certificate course at Robert Gordon University while Patrick Kaczmarek from Canada and Jennifer Butler-Madden from Aberdeen are studying the MSc course at the University of Aberdeen.

Data management is of strategic importance to industry as it looks to maximise economic recovery of oil and gas from the UK Continental Shelf. The availability of recognised academic qualifications in this discipline gives employers confidence they are recruiting individuals with the skills and proficiency in managing vital data assets.

Jennifer, who has worked in the oil and gas industry for 15 years, is planning a return to the sector after taking a career break. Jennifer said: “The CDA scholarship is a fabulous opportunity. I have been out of the industry after starting a family, and the MSc Petroleum Data Management will help reignite my career. When I was awarded the scholarship I felt very privileged – it is an amazing feeling to know there are organisations willing to provide this kind of support to students.”

CDA, with the support of its member companies, has been instrumental in the creation of the award-winning Graduate Certificate course at Robert Gordon University, now in its third intake online, and the MSc course at the University of Aberdeen, welcoming its first intake of students both on campus and online this year. Supporting the development of education in petroleum data management and providing opportunities to study the subject is at the heart of CDA’s work to professionalise the discipline.

Malcolm Fleming, Chief Executive of CDA, said: “This year we have awarded four scholarships in total – two at each of Aberdeen’s universities. This marks significant further progress towards professionalising the discipline and provides a benchmark for professional development and recruitment. We’re delighted with the calibre of applicants from around the world and look forward to their progress in this rapidly advancing profession.

“The quality of almost all investment decisions taken by exploration and production companies depends on the availability of sufficient and reliable subsurface data. The role of data, and those experienced in assuring and enhancing its value plays an increasingly important role in improving exploration success. This is key to extending asset life, maximising oil and gas production and assuring the future of the sector.”


10 Oct 2018
Launch of Society for Petroleum Data Managers

The Society for Petroleum Data Managers was launched at the ECIM Conference in Haugesund today. The Society has been jointly founded by CDA and ECIM, to provide a community for individuals involved in Petroleum Data Management, through member-driven services in support of lifelong learning, advanced knowledge, and career development. Currently led by an interim Board, the Society aims to recruit members and hold its first elections in 2019 to establish a fully elected Board. All individuals with an interest in Petroleum Data Management are invited to register their interest.

Find out more:


11 Sep 2018
Upcoming Dates for PPDM CPDA Examinations

PPDM has established the Certified Petroleum Data Analyst (CPDA) credential, which is achieved through an online examination and continuously renewed thereafter. The credential contributes to the development and professionalisation of petroleum data managers.

Upcoming dates are as follows:

• Application by 03 October 2018, for examination on 14 November 2018

• Application by 16 January 2019, for examination on 27 February 2019

Find out more: CPDA examination and credential


30 Aug 2018
CDA Launches Videos Highlighting Petroleum Data Management Careers

CDA has launched a series of short videos featuring petroleum data management professionals, aimed at highlighting the diversity and attraction of a career in this discipline.

Petroleum data managers play a crucial role in the industry, supporting cost effective exploration, development, production, and decommissioning of oilfield infrastructure through effective management of data. The videos are part of a CDA’s campaign, supported by industry and academic partners, to establish Petroleum Data Management as a recognised professional discipline.

Daniel Brown, Manager, CDA Projects, said: “These videos connect us to people in Petroleum Data Management roles and describe the opportunities available in this rapidly developing discipline.

“Petroleum Data Management is vital to exploration and production success, increasingly so as organisations create more data than ever and look to new techniques to derive the best value from their data assets. Skilled petroleum data managers have an exciting opportunity to contribute to this process by ensuring that data is accurate, accessible, and of assured technical and legal integrity

“We are grateful to the volunteers who participated and are delighted to be launching this series of short videos with the support of our academic and industry partners.”

Kerry Blinston, New Business Development Director with CGG Smart Data Solutions, and part of the team CDA works with to support education programmes in Petroleum Data Management, said: “With digitalisation increasingly delivering value to oil and gas companies, data management has never been more important.  Creating academic routes into the profession and supporting staff in their career development is critically important to both CGG and our customers.”

Watch the videos


25 Jul 2018
CDA Offers Scholarships for Graduate Certificate Course

CDA is delighted to offer two fully funded scholarship places for the Graduate Certificate Petroleum Data Management course delivered by Robert Gordon University (RGU). The course welcomes its third cohort of students in September, and has been designed in partnership with the industry, to develop students’ understanding of subsurface exploration and production data management. The course is offered fully online and is suitable for study alongside full-time work, anywhere in the world, making it an ideal access route to education in petroleum data management, as well as an opportunity for those with relevant work experience to have their skills and knowledge developed and recognised with a qualification.

Katy Heidenreich, Oil & Gas UK Operations Optimisation Manager and CDA Board Director, said:

“Cutting edge technologies are generating not only new data but new insights from existing data, so it’s vital we have the right skills to preserve and realise its full potential through effective data management.

“We are delighted to be able to offer scholarships for this course which was developed in partnership with industry and offers career development benefits to current practitioners as well as to new entrants. I would particularly encourage women to explore this opportunity as successful operations depend on industry’s ability to access and attract talent from the widest pool available.”

The CDA scholarships are open to any student, worldwide, who has been accepted onto the course and who is in genuine financial need. Women, and people from the Americas, Asia and Australasia are particularly encouraged to apply.

Scholarship applications close on 6 July 2018

Scholarship information
Course information


22 May 2018
Workshop Proceedings Now Available – Addressing the Information Legacy of an Offshore Asset

CDA’s recent open industry workshop brought together participants across the industry to discuss issues and solutions around managing the legacy of information remaining post-decommissioning. Three excellent presentations were heard, from Shell, the University of Aberdeen, and the Nuclear Decommissioning Agency, followed by active discussion and prioritisation of proposed industry solutions for dealing with these issues. There was strong demand for increasing collaboration on information management strategies, and support for CDA to lead a cross-industry group to take these themes forward.

Workshop proceedings and slides are available for download from CDA’s Events page.


13 Apr 2018
Strong Industry Backing for UK National Data Repository

The Oil and Gas Authority has published its response to a consultation on establishing and maintaining the United Kingdom’s first oil and gas National Data Repository (NDR). The NDR, to be launched in early 2019, will initially build upon CDA’s existing UKOilandGasData platform, to preserve, regulate and provide greater access to the country’s collection of valuable petroleum-related information.

The consultation, carried out last year, sought views on establishing and maintaining the NDR, which would be funded through the OGA levy, payable by all offshore petroleum licence holders. The OGA’s response to the consultation, documenting the responses from licensees, trade associations, service providers and academia, shows that it has received significant support from industry to create and fund the NDR through the levy.

To deliver the initial phase of the NDR, the OGA plans to enter into a two year contract with CDA, for the provision of NDR services, based on its existing data store and legacy data collection. In subsequent phases, the OGA will undertake a procurement for new NDR services, with a planned contract award in mid-2020 and service expected to commence in January 2021.

Malcolm Fleming, chief executive of CDA said:

“The effective collection and availability of well, seismic and other petroleum-related information is crucial to unlocking the significant remaining hydrocarbon potential of the UKCS. The UK NDR will play a central role in this and is a natural and very positive development for UKOilandGasData and for CDA. We are pleased that the necessary funding and regulatory mechanisms are being put in place for its sustainable future.”


05 Apr 2018
Workshop: Addressing the Information Legacy of an Offshore Asset

Once an offshore asset is decommissioned and dismantled, all that remains of it is information. Over its lifetime one offshore platform can amass over 10,000 boxes of records, and millions of digital files. Each of these boxes and files may need to be retained for years or decades to comply with laws, regulations, directives, and so on. Figuring out what must be retained, why, and for how long can take longer than decommissioning itself.

Open Half Day Workshop in Aberdeen

Join speakers from Shell, the School of Law at the University of Aberdeen, and the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority for a free, open half day workshop at CDA’s offices in Aberdeen on Thursday 15th March to learn from their experiences at the sharp end of decommissioning information management. Hear about progress in creating an industry records retention schedule for decommissioning. Help decide what industry should tackle next to ease the burden of the decommissioning information legacy.

For more information, see the workshop programme. To reserve your place, email [email protected] or phone 020 7802 2434.


21 Feb 2018
New Industry Guidance for Retention of Information and Samples after Decommissioning

CDA has issued new guidance that will support companies in planning decommissioning more efficiently.

Developed in collaboration with the Shell Brent Decommissioning Project, and the School of Law at the University of Aberdeen, the Guidance on the Retention of Information Received or Created by UK-Based Oil Companies Associated with a Decommissioned Asset supports operators in determining what data and documents must be retained after an offshore asset is removed for dismantling.

Daniel Brown, Manager, CDA Projects, said: “Over the 40-plus year lifespan of an offshore asset, many thousands of boxes of physical records, and millions of electronic files are created and then stored at substantial ongoing cost.

“Once the asset is removed to be dismantled, many of these records are no longer required – but deciding what must be retained, and what may lawfully be destroyed is not a simple task.

This example retention schedule and guidance supports companies as they make retention decisions, and work to eliminate this otherwise costly sting in the tail of decommissioning – the retention of data and documents for years or decades longer than needed. We hope this framework is useful for companies and we would like to hear their feedback on its content and use.”

An open workshop will be held in March 2018 to present current understanding on records retention requirements after decommissioning, and to receive feedback on these documents, so that they may be improved over time with a view to minimising the overall information legacy of decommissioning.

If you wish to be invited to the workshop, or have any questions or feedback on the documents, please contact Daniel Brown at [email protected].

04 Jan 2018
Award win for CDA

Common Data Access (CDA) is celebrating today after scooping a win at last night’s (December 14) UK Association Awards Ceremony in Manchester.

CDA – a subsidiary of Oil & Gas UK – won the Best eLearning/Online Education award for its innovative Graduate Certificate in Petroleum Data Management.

The online course – the first of its kind – is designed to be studied anywhere in the world while working full-time. The course is part of a collaborative programme led and funded by CDA and delivered by Robert Gordon University (RGU) in Aberdeen to establish Petroleum Data Management (PDM) as a recognised professional discipline.

CDA Chief Executive Malcolm Fleming said: “We are absolutely delighted that our course has been recognised by this award.

“This course is a result of a fantastic collaborative effort between the oil and gas industry and our academic partner the Robert Gordon University. We are extremely grateful for the time and expertise contributed by everyone involved, and to their respective companies for the support. The valuable input we’ve received from so many key industry specialists to create the course will help ensure it delivers a generation of academically-qualified data managers that meets the needs of our membership and the wider industry.

“The course is a very significant step towards the recognition of petroleum data management as a professional discipline – it increases the status and standing of the individuals in the profession, providing for the first time, a benchmark for professional development and recruitment. Professionalised PDM will help achieve operational success through increasingly professional data management which could ultimately help operators and their partners maximise economic recovery and extend field life.”

Jo Royle, Head of the School of Creative and Cultural Business at RGU, added: “RGU is thrilled to see CDA gaining recognition for their support in bringing this course to life. The emergence and development of any new profession relies on pioneering individuals and organisations giving of their passion, expertise and resources. CDA and its members are such pioneers. From their initial approach to RGU, through a multitude of development stages, CDA and its members were committed and determined to deliver this course to an incredibly high standard. We are proud of our shared achievement and look forward to supporting this vital profession as it continues to mature.”

15 Dec 2017