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
Release of Government-Funded Seismic Data

The Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) has announced that it has begun the release process for the data arising from the 2015 Government-funded Seismic Programme.

The data is now available through the UKOilandGasData system as a set of data packages comprising the main geophysical data sets and supporting documentation. Data packages less than 20 GB in size may be downloaded, and all data packages are available for order on physical media.

The OGA has decided to release as much of the data as possible, as early as possible. More data remains to be released, and updated versions of certain products may also be published. Notification will be provided within UKOilandGasData when new and updated packages become available.

Malcolm Fleming, CDA’s chief executive, said:
“CDA was set up by industry in 1995 as a collaborative initiative to provide on-line services for the secure storage, controlled sharing and release of UKCS well and seismic data. CDA’s UKOilandGasData portal provides the ideal platform for delivering the OGA seismic data packages to exploration companies and other parties, swiftly and cost-effectively, anywhere in the world.”

Oil & Gas UK also welcomed the release of the data.

The following documentation and guides are available within UKOilandGasData to assist with access to the data:

  • A Getting Started Guide to the system;
  • Advice on the use of the Download Manager to download large packages;
  • The media and handling charges that will apply to order for data on physical media; and
  • A high level description of the content of each data package



01 Apr 2016
UK Government-funded Seismic Programme: Survey Details & Acquisition Parameters

The Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) has produced two documents providing more detail on the surveys acquired over the Rockall Trough and Mid North Sea High, and the range of data expected to be made available.

The data will be published under the Open Government License, and will be available for download and to order on media from UKOilandGasData.
Data packages under 20 GB in size may be downloaded for free, while larger data packages will be available to order on media only, for which a charge will be made to cover media, handling, and delivery costs.

The data is expected to be available from 1st April 2016.

Rockall Trough Data (PDF)

Mid North Sea High Data (PDF)

31 Mar 2016
CDA and ECIM host workshop on Data Science and Analytics in oil and gas

Data management leaders gathered in Aberdeen on 10th February 2016 for the second joint ECIM / CDA workshop, investigating the role new data science and analytics techniques can play in increasing the profitability of the North Sea oil industry.

Steve Harrison of Scottish Enterprise got the workshop started with a thought-provoking and challenging overview of the value reaped in other industries from the creative application of data science and analytics, setting the scene for presentations from industry experts from Maersk Oil, EMC, Tessella, CGG, and Teradata on progress that has already been made towards reducing downtime, increasing productivity and improving decision-making in oil and gas.

Malcolm Fleming, Chief Executive of CDA, said: “Data science and analytics techniques have been shown in other industries to dramatically reduce costs and to increase work efficiency. Now, we must take these techniques and apply them in the North Sea, so that lifting costs and overheads may structurally be reduced and marginal fields returned to profitability, leading to a brighter future for oil and gas in the UK.”

Proceedings of the workshop are available for download


03 Mar 2016
Government Funded Seismic Programme – Register of Interest

The data collected during the recent OGA-funded geophysical surveys of the Rockall Trough and the Mid-North Sea High is expected to be available via at the beginning of April 2016. To register your interest in the data, and to be notified by email when it is available for download or order, please complete this form, available at:

Any personal information you provide will be used solely for the purpose of notifying you when the data becomes available.

05 Feb 2016
Government Funded Seismic Programme – Access to Data

Data packages arising from the 2015 OGA-funded geophysical surveys performed over the Rockall Trough and Mid North Sea High are expected to be available from at the beginning of April 2016.

The data packages will be available for all to download, where practical, or to order on media. Smaller packages will be available for immediate download, while larger data packages (e.g. pre-stack and field seismic data, and other data sets over approx. 20Gb in size) will only be available to order on physical media, for which a charge will be made to cover the cost of media and handling.

Further information on the range of data available and how to access it will be published in early March. If you have any queries in the meantime, please contact [email protected]

04 Feb 2016