Launch of Petroleum Data Management MSc at the University of Aberdeen

The University of Aberdeen formally launched its Petroleum Data Management MSc programme at an event held at the Sir Duncan Rice Library yesterday. Industry leaders, academics, and potential students gathered to hear about opportunities to increase business value through effective stewardship of data and CDA’s ongoing initiatives in professionalising data management, as well as details about the programme and content that will be taught.

The programme is being developed in partnership with CDA and funding sponsors Chevron, Shell, and Total, to address the industry need for skills in this disicpline. It will commence in September 2018, providing postgraduate education and  training for those currently in petroleum data management roles as well as those aspiring to this career path. Students can choose to study full-time or part-time, on campus or online.

Malcolm Fleming, Chief Executive, CDA, said:

“As an industry we are aware that the true value of data lies not in acquiring it but in using it effectively, across technical disciplines. It is therefore crucial that businesses are equipped with the skills and competencies to ensure these valuable data resources are professionally stewarded, accessible to users, and that they meet increasingly complex business needs and opportunities.

“CDA and its 58 member companies consider this Masters programme to be a significant element within initiatives to improve and increase the contribution of data management to business value, and are delighted to be offering two partial scholarships in 2018 to support individuals in attaining this qualification.”

Programme Director, Dr Colin North, said:

“Petroleum Data Management is crucial to the oil and gas industry and there is an increasing demand for individuals with an expertise in this area.

“I am delighted that the University has teamed up with CDA, and our sponsors, in order to create this programme. Developing it alongside industry partners ensures that the course will be tailored to the needs of the industry and I look forward to welcoming students onto the course.”

MSc Petroleum Data Management course details

08 Nov 2017
CDA and RGU Celebrate Inaugural Data Management Graduates

A successful partnership between CDA and the Robert Gordon University (RGU) has delivered the very first graduates in Petroleum Data Management. Fourteen students from across the globe, including Brazil, Ghana and the Netherlands, were awarded a Graduate Certificate in Petroleum Data Management from RGU at its summer graduation ceremony yesterday.

The course was developed to meet industry demand for practitioners skilled in managing the geological and geophysical data vital to the sector’s operations. Comprising four modules covering all aspects of the subsurface exploration and production lifecycle, the course supports CDA’s wider agenda for the professionalisation of data management, enabling geoscientists and engineers to deliver more timely decisions with greater accuracy.

CDA Chief Executive Malcolm Fleming, said:

“The value generated by exploration and production activities relies on accurate information, the key to which is a high quality of data management.

“Staff armed with the knowledge and competencies to drive the best value from data will play a key role in supporting critical business activities, decisions and ultimately successful operations.”

The course was designed with significant input from across industry, providing an entry point to a recognised discipline and career path. Applications are now open for the next student intake in September 2017, for which CDA is offering two fully funded scholarship places.

Jo Royle, Head of the School of Creative and Cultural Business, said:

“We have been delighted with the success of the first cohort of the Graduate Certificate Petroleum Data Management.  Feedback tells us that the course has been well received by students and employers.”

Kerry Blinston, Global Commercial Director, Data Management Services, CGG, said:

“As a global exploration and production data services and solutions provider, we welcome this new professional qualification that teaches the value of petroleum data management to upstream oil and gas businesses.

“Several members of our team have reported enjoying the course and appreciating its convenient online delivery that helps to balance work and study. We are already beginning to see how they benefit from the knowledge they have gained to better understand our customers’ needs and this can translate into real business value on all sides.

“We plan to encourage other team members to participate in the next iteration of this successful and beneficial course.”


Graduate Certificate Petroleum Data Management course details

2017/18 Scholarship details

13 Jul 2017
OGA Undeveloped Discoveries Data Packages now available

The Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) has announced the release of a series of data packages, published in anticipation of the launch of the 30th Offshore Licensing Round.

The data packages, which encompass roughly 140 relinquished discoveries, include:

  • Released well and seismic data and documents
  • OGA / BGS well tops
  • Selected seismic images from CGG, PGS, and WesternGeco

Sixty technical montages will also be made available. All together, these provide industry with the discovery history, static and dynamic information and subsurface data in digital formats for use in interpretation software. The data packages may be downloaded for free or ordered on media (a media and handling charge applies) from CDA’s



19 Jun 2017
National Data Repository 2017 Conference

NDR 2017
Stavanger, Norway
6 – 8 June 2017

A global meeting focused on the challenges of managing national oil and gas data repositories, this will be the 13th conference bringing together government regulators and petroleum industry participants to exchange ideas and collaborate on business processes.

CDA is delighted to be part of the executive committee of this conference, supporting the development of the data management community and best practice.

Registration is open at:



13 Jan 2017
Proceedings now available – CDA & ECIM Joint Workshop on Digital Dividends from Subsurface Data

Over 70 delegates attended CDA and ECIM’s joint workshop on the application of modern data science and analytical techniques to sub-surface data, as demonstrated through CDA’s first Unstructured Data Challenge.

Delegates heard from nine challenge participants, each sharing the results of their work on the same 3.5Tb of sub-surface data made available to them (in confidence) over the summer of 2016.

The results were remarkable, beginning with insights into how to deal with the issues encountered in processing the many types and formats of data and documents acquired over 50 years of UKCS exploration activity, and moving on to show real examples of the value that can be unlocked once data and documents are analytics-ready.

Participants presented on a wide variety of data science techniques, including how machine learning can be used to address fundamental data management issues in a scalable manner, how linguistic analysis alone may be used to identify formation analogues, and how, if a number of these techniques are used together in concert, a prototype end-to-end workflow may be realised for the automated creation of petrophysical models.

Workshop proceedings are now available to download, while registered workshop delegates may download the slides for each presentation from the ECIM website.



For more information on the Unstructured Data Challenge, and the outcomes presented in this workshop, please contact Daniel Brown.


19 Dec 2016
Registration now open – CDA & ECIM Joint Workshop – Digital Dividends from Subsurface Data: Data Science meets the Unstructured Data Challenge

In May 2016, CDA launched its first Unstructured Data Challenge, to demonstrate the value of applying modern data science and data analytics techniques to one of the largest sub-surface data sets in the world.

Nine companies took up the challenge, and the results were remarkable: identifying formation analogues through linguistic analysis; speeding the hunt for under-explored oil and gas shows; and using machine learning to create petrophysically consistent models of the subsurface, to name a few.

ECIM & CDA Joint Workshop: Digital Dividends from Subsurface Data: Data Science meets the Data Challenge

Join CDA, ECIM, and the Data Challenge participants from 12pm on Wednesday 30th November at the Village Hotel in Kingswells, Aberdeen, to learn more about the value of data science in the subsurface; and to share your thoughts on how this might be maximised.

To secure your place at the workshop, please register through ECIM’s Registration Site. If you have any questions, just contact [email protected] for more information.

13 Oct 2016
Aberdeen University to offer new Petroleum Data Management MSc

The University of Aberdeen is teaming up with key players from the UK oil and gas industry to offer a new Masters degree in Petroleum Data Management.

The degree will address a growing skills demand from the sector for professional petroleum data managers, possessing expertise recognised in the Wood Review as critical to maximising economic recovery of significant remaining resources from the UK Continental Shelf.

The MSc programme has been set up through an agreement between the University and CDA, and will be sponsored by leading multinationals including Shell, Total and Chevron.

Currently under development, the MSc will be delivered on a multi-disciplinary basis across the departments of Geography, Geology, Computing Science and Law.  Among the subjects that will be covered include data governance, data quality management, information security management, and service and project management.

The programme will launch next year on a part-time basis, with distance learning and full-time options to follow in 2018.

Programme coordinator Professor Judith Masthoff said: “Data management is vitally important to the oil and gas sector and the demand for skills in this area has led to the creation of this Masters programme, set up through an agreement with CDA and our sponsors.

The course content is being developed with input from our industrial partners to ensure the programme is tailored to the needs of industry.  This will provide graduates with job-ready expertise that will allow them to meet a growing demand for skills in this area.”

Danny Bush, Unit Manager Subsurface Workflows, Chevron Energy Technology Company, said: Good data management is key to unlocking the real value of technical and analytical applications. As an industry we are experiencing a tremendous growth in data and to manage it successfully we will need a pipeline of talent with strong earth science and engineering skills. The Masters programme at Aberdeen University, as well as other strategically located programs, will enable the next generation of skilled data managers to advance their careers in the oil and gas industry.”

George Rorie, Operational Lead for Technical Data Management, Shell said: “We are delighted to support the development of the Petroleum Data Management MSc from Aberdeen University.   Shell recognises technical information and data as a discipline within our company, and we play an active role in promoting the professionalisation of these skills across the industry.   Courses such as this provide a strong academic foundation for the data management professionals that we need today and in the future.”

On behalf of Total E&P UK, Olivier Mairal, Senior Data Management Advisor, said: “The exponential growth of data volumes and available information has made data management, data architecture, data analysis and geomatics cornerstones in the exploration and production industry. Total has recognised geoinformation as a key discipline to support these trends and skilled and talented people are necessary to fulfil these challenging tasks.

Total fully supports the Petroleum Data Management Master programme at the University of Aberdeen that will allow the next generation of data managers to build on existing skills to develop the expertise required for future career development.”

30 Aug 2016
CDA Scholarships for Petroleum Data Management Course

CDA is delighted to announce its commitment to provide four fully funded scholarship places for the newly launched, pioneering petroleum data management course being delivered by Robert Gordon University (RGU).

Commencing in late September, the Graduate Certificate Petroleum Data Management has been developed in partnership with CDA, and will promote the understanding of subsurface exploration and production data management, recognising its importance to upstream oil and gas businesses.

RGU welcomed the scholarships, noting that individuals completing the course will gain an accredited qualification providing new entrants with a direct route into the profession, and presenting a career development opportunity for existing practitioners.

Malcolm Fleming, CDA Chief Executive, said:
“The value generated by exploration and production activities relies on accurate information, the key to which is a high quality of data management. It is therefore crucial that the industry recognises the importance of promoting the professionalisation of petroleum data managers.
“It is all the more apparent in the current economic environment that a high quality data management function underpins efforts to reduce risk, meet regulatory compliance, and increase exploration and production success”.

The CDA Scholarships will be available for the academic year 2016/17, open to any student worldwide who has been accepted onto the Graduate Certificate Petroleum Data Management course, and who is in genuine financial need.

An awarding panel made up of representatives from RGU and CDA will assess applications, awarding two scholarships based on academic merit to new entrants to the industry, and two scholarships based on employment history and career development to those with industry experience.

The closing date for applications is 31st August 2016.

Scholarship and application details
Graduate Certificate Petroleum Data Management course details

Queries can be directed to Terry Alexander

08 Aug 2016
CDA & RGU Launch New Petroleum Data Management Course

Robert Gordon University and CDA today launched a Graduate Certificate in Petroleum Data Management. This pioneering course has been developed with the support of a broad, cross-industry steering group led by CDA, to promote the understanding of subsurface exploration and production data management, and to progress the recognition of its importance to upstream oil and gas businesses.

The event took place at the RGU campus in Aberdeen, and was well attended by representatives from oil and gas operators and service providers, academia, prospective students, and the OGA. Jeremy Cresswell, Energy Editor at the Press and Journal hosted the proceedings.

Malcolm Fleming, Chief Executive of CDA, gave a keynote address on the value of petroleum data management, followed by Simon James, OGA Chief Information Officer, who presented on the contribution of well managed data to the UKCS. Professor Simon Burnett of RGU’s Aberdeen Business School spoke about new frontiers in Information Management, and Professor Rita Marcella, Dean of Aberdeen Business School, gave a final address on the benefits of industry and academic collaboration. The programme ended with a panel Q&A session.

The course will be available from September, and will be delivered fully online over four modules.
More information and application details are available at the course website.

Find out more about CDA’s professional development initiatives.

24 May 2016
CDA Unstructured Data Challenge – 2016

Can you make sense of the documentation describing over 11,000 wells, and 2,000 seismic surveys? Do you have the tools to extract value from the reports, log images, and other unstructured data arising from over 50 years of oil and gas exploration?

If so, the CDA Unstructured Data Challenge may be for you! Over the next three months, CDA is seeking to work with a small number of data and information analytics tool vendors to demonstrate how their tools may be used to enrich one of the world’s largest collections of subsurface oil and gas data.

Through analysis of the documents, images, and other unstructured data arising from a half century of UKCS exploration activity, CDA hopes to achieve two goals:

  • To demonstrate the value that current data and information analytics tools can add to a large corporate collection of unstructured subsurface data, such as the well and seismic data held in; and
  • To support vendors in communicating that value to industry – through case studies, presentations, and articles in industry journals.

To find out more about the CDA Unstructured Data Challenge, please contact Daniel Brown, Manager, CDA Projects, by email at [email protected], or by telephone at +44 20 7802 2463.

13 May 2016