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
OGA 2016 Seismic Programme data released through CDA

Data from the UK Oil & Gas Authority’s 2016 Seismic Programme is now available to download and order on media through CDA’s UKOilandGasData system.

The data comprises approx. 19,000km of newly acquired broadband 2D seismic, gravity and magnetic data in the South West of Britain and East Shetland Platform; over 23,000km of reprocessed proprietary and commercial seismic from these and many other areas around the UKCS; and a range of supplementary information, including released well data and joined logs for 236 wells. Workstation-ready packages are also available in Petrel and OpenWorks formats.

This release continues CDA’s close cooperation with the OGA over the publication of UKCS well and seismic data. Together, the two organisations have now made available under open conditions of use nearly 100Tb of technical data, comprising over 80,000 km of newly acquired or reprocessed 2D seismic; and logs, reports, and other data for over 1,200 wells.

Malcolm Fleming, CDA’s Chief Executive, said: “The significant improvement in the quality and availability of the data over these areas will allow geoscientists to re-evaluate previous interpretations, leading to a re-think of the prospectivity and potential of the petroleum systems in place and reappraisal of discoveries previously thought to be uneconomic, as well as the discovery of new prospects for exploration drilling.”

The data may be accessed through Packages less than 20Gb in size may be downloaded free of charge, while larger datasets may be ordered on media.

A list of seismic lines, wells and shape files included in the release may be found in the ‘Overview Material’ data package, downloadable via the OGA ‘2016 Seismic Programme’ tab in UKOilandGasData.

If you have any questions regarding the data release and how to obtain data of interest, please contact [email protected].

27 Nov 2017
CDA Shortlisted for eLearning Award

CDA has been shortlisted in the 2017 UK Association Awards, for the development of the RGU Graduate Certificate in Petroleum Data Management. The “Best eLearning / Online Education” award recognises virtual learning, information, or education delivery which benefits members or the sector. The course development project will be judged on criteria including the background and purpose of the project, innovation, collaboration with service providers, member engagement, marketing, and achievement of objectives.

The Association Awards is open to any membership organisation, and is organised by The Association of Association Executives, which recognises and promotes excellence in associations.

Winners will be announced at the UK Association Awards Ceremony, taking place in Manchester, UK, on 14 December.

20 Nov 2017
Common Data Access response to the Oil and Gas Authority National Data Repository consultation

Common Data Access (CDA) notes that the Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) has today started consulting on its proposal to transform from a member-funded platform provided by CDA into a key component of a new central UK National Data Repository (NDR).  The service would continue to be delivered by CDA under contract to the OGA.

The new NDR will build on the current UKOilandGasData model, which has been in operation since 1995. The on-line platform allows the industry to meet its statutory obligations to share data on wells and seismic research on the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS) as well as providing a range of valuable collaborative data sharing and management services for industry.

Chief Executive of CDA, Malcolm Fleming, said:

“The NDR is a natural and very positive development for UKOilandGasData and for CDA. Incorporating into a new repository under the regulator’s control is, ultimately, an effective and efficient means to support MER UK – maximising economic recovery of the UK’s remaining oil and gas.”

The new service, agreed conditionally in principle by the Board of CDA and the OGA, would be delivered by CDA under contract to the OGA for two years with effect from 1 January 2019. The consultation reveals that OGA intends to fund the contract with CDA from January 2019 through an increase in the annual Industry Levy, which would be offset by the payments made directly by members to CDA being discontinued from the end of 2018.

Malcolm Fleming added:

“While in many respects, it will be business as usual for CDA over the coming months, we believe the industry needs to maintain a strong interest in the ongoing governance of the platform in the longer term in order to preserve the value it has delivered for the sector over the years as well as to develop it to meet industry’s needs in the future.

“CDA will have these principles very much in mind as it negotiates the arrangement with the OGA of the details of the transformation of UKOilandGasData. The longer-term implications for CDA and its members, will become clearer as we work together over the next few months.  We shall consult our members and with Oil & Gas UK stakeholders and respond to the OGA in due course with our views on the nature of this relationship and its funding going forward.”


For more information, please contact Communications Manager Jennifer Phillips [email protected] or 01224 577331.

Note to Editors:

CDA (Common Data Access Limited) is a not-for-profit subsidiary of Oil & Gas UK, set up in 1995 to provide data management services to its members and to the UK oil industry.

The CDA web portal is at

Oil & Gas UK is the leading representative organisation for the UK offshore oil and gas industry. Its members are companies licensed by the Government to explore for, and produce, oil and gas in UK waters and those in the industry’s supply chain.

10 Nov 2017