Saturday, October 11, 2014

New role with National Data Repositories

Since the recession hit, the Arizona Geological Survey has relied on external grants to replace state appropriations so that 80-90% of our budget now comes these sources. Fortunately, our expertise in open data and data integration has put us in a national leadership role and increasingly a player in the international data environment, to compete for funding.

I'm back from Baku, Azerbaijan and the meeting of the National Data Repositories consortium, where I was chosen as Chair of the 30-nation organization for the next 18 months.  

The meeting organizer, Energistics, is releasing the following statement regarding the meeting:

Managing growing volumes of data generated by the oil and gas industry is a common challenge for all oil regulators around the world. Typically regulators have resolved the problem by establishing National Data Repositories (NDRs). The twelfth meeting of these oil regulators to discuss common issues and problems was held in early October 2014 in Baku, Azerbaijan. The event was hosted by the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR) and it was appropriate that the conference was held in view of the first commercially drilled oil well in the world. [Right, me standing at the world's first commercial oil well, drilled in 1847]

Regulators from 22 countries plus delegates from major oil industry service companies and software suppliers met to share best practices and update the progress made on collaborative projects since the last meeting. More importantly, they discussed how to improve the quality of data delivered to regulators, how to improve the profile of NDRs and how to enhance the value of the data.  Data management best practices increase efficiency, leverage new technology developments and improves industry compliance while promoting economic development and protecting the environment.

Tirza van Daalen, TNO – Netherlands, and Chair of the meeting said, “This was an excellent meeting that exceeded our expectations. There is a real desire for regulators to cooperate and we are expecting real progress in various data standards areas before the next meeting in North America in 2016”.

Jerry Hubbard, President & CEO of Energistics, organizers of the event said, “I believe the next eighteen months will show real progress in collaboration between regulators as they assimilate the lessons learned and the benefits of sharing."

Two of my goals as Chair are to expand on interactions and collaborations among the data repositories between meetings, and to get more of the many U.S. state and federal oil gas regulatory agencies participating in NDR in advance of the Spring 2016 conference to be held in North America.  The U.S. oil and gas community has a lot to learn from and to share with our international counterparts.

I was excited to find that the work AZGS is doing with the US Geoscience Information Network (USGIN) appears to map easily to a quickly growing area of data "business rules." Delegates to the meeting suggested that the 1,000+ data parameters we developed in 30 data content models might form the basis for a global framework.

For more information on the National Data Repository Work Group and NDR2014, please visit   Find out more about USGIN at


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