Careers in PDM

Petroleum Data Management (PDM) deals with the management and stewardship of digital and physical data used across the upstream industry at all stages of the asset lifecycle, from exploration and appraisal through to development, production, and decommissioning, as well as during evaluation and transfer of assets between businesses.

Industry needs effective petroleum data managers to derive value from the increasingly large and sophisticated datasets being generated, and to ensure that operational and business decisions are driven by accurate and reliable data. Organisations across the industry are increasingly developing their teams, building career paths, and attracting new talent to this discipline, to maximise current and future opportunities through effective petroleum data management.

Our Education page has more information about some of the courses and qualifications available in this subject.


What Does a Petroleum Data Manager Do?

Petroleum data management covers a wide spectrum of responsibilities across all aspects of the oil and gas business, working to ensure the organisation’s data are collected, stored, and used in efficient and innovative ways, while complying with everything from Production Licence conditions to rules set out by financial authorities. Petroleum data managers work across, and are skilled in technical, commercial, and operational data domains, including geology, geophysics, petrophysics, production, drilling, and reservoir engineering, as well as environment, legal, and engagement with regulators.

PDM is separate from, but works closely with Information Technology (IT) professionals. Petroleum data managers also work directly with, and may share skills and career paths with the Data Science roles that are also becoming more established, to take advantage of the opportunities that new technologies and analytical techniques can offer.

People and Career Paths

Reflecting the responsibilities of this discipline, careers in PDM are diverse, spanning entry level to executive roles within oil and gas operating companies, data service providers, and regulators. There are varied routes into the discipline and development opportunities along the way. CDA supports several education and professional development initiatives for those currently in or aspiring to PDM careers.

In this series of short interviews we hear from five people in the UK with PDM roles in different organisations, giving a personal insight into their discipline and careers.


Data Manager


Information and Samples Compliance Manager


Geoscience Technologist


Team Lead Data Management and Workflow


New Business Development Director


19 Jul 2018