Norway: NPD Provides More Exploration Drilling Data

Since 2001, the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate has published an extensive database from more than 1000 exploration wells on the Norwegian shelf.

The WDSS (well data summary sheets) for these exploration wells on the Fact Pages contain a lot of well-related information and data that are no longer confidential.

The Fact Pages contain general information on all exploration drilling on the Norwegian shelf.

In addition, the WDSS wells also include drilling history, test results, technical well data, the NPD’s interpretation of formation tops, geochemical data and overviews of intervals for which the NPD has drill cuttings and core samples, as well as liquid samples. Pictures of core samples and well logs have also been published for several exploration wells.

The Fact Pages also contain descriptions of lithostratographic units (groups, formations and sections) used on the Norwegian shelf. Using these pages, it is also possible to locate cored wells in the individual formations.

”We have received very positive feedback on WDSS, it is clear that this is information the oil industry players benefit from,” says geologist Anke Wolff in the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate.

In September 2010, there were 60,000 page views for the well fact pages. Over the course of the first nine months of 2010, there were registered 500,000 page views.

The demand is particularly great leading up to the application deadline for the annual Awards in Predefined Areas (APA). The companies want as detailed information as possible about the announced areas.

”I have the impression that particularly consultancy firms and new, small oil companies without data of their own benefit from the NPD’s published data,” says Wolff, who also has the impression that the large oil companies are positive to sharing the data.

She believes that the companies consider the information on the Fact Pages authoritative and independent, as the NPD represents the authorities.

The basic rule is that raw data from exploration drilling on the Norwegian shelf that is reported to the NPD is confidential for two years, while the companies’ interpretations of the results are exempt from public disclosure for 20 years. However, the geologists at the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate make their own interpretations of the released well data and these evaluations are available in WDSS.

The NPD wants everyone to have access to as much released data from the petroleum activities as possible, which is why the images and the rest of the information can be downloaded and used free of charge.

Data from released wells has previously been published on paper. The NPD is working to make data from all exploration wells available via the Fact Pages. According to Anke Wolff, the information for around 270 exploration wells remains to be updated (as of September 2010) in addition to data from new drilling activity, which is published continuously two years after drilling.

The pages’ contents are updated continuously, based on new information and new interpretations. To ensure the best possible content quality, the NPD requests feedback from the users.


Source:NPD  , October  17, 2010;

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