NPD makes more well data available

Source: press release, 11 June 2021

Data from wildcat wells, both those yielding discoveries and dry wells, provide geologists with valuable information to use in further petroleum exploration
Data from wildcat wells, both those yielding discoveries and dry wells, provide geologists with valuable information to use in further petroleum exploration (photo: NPD)

The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) is releasing prognosis and result data from wildcat wells from the period between 1990 and 2000. Moving forward, such data will be regularly made available via the FactPages on npd.no.

Successful wildcat wells, as well as dry ones, provide geologists with valuable information in the quest for new discoveries. This is why the companies must report a significant amount of data following wildcat drilling. This data is analysed to learn more.

The data is now available via the FactPages. This is in keeping with the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate’s (NPD’s) philosophy that as much data as possible should be available to everyone, and that competition between the companies is a matter of who makes best use of the data.

This release of prognosis and result data from wildcat wells is the fruit of a collaboration with the oil industry. In 1996, the NPD initiated the industry project Evaluation of Norwegian Wildcat Wells. One of the objectives was to compare the prospect parameters and resource size in the operator’s forecast with the result after drilling. Another goal was to assess why exploration wells that did not yield discoveries were dry.

Such knowledge is useful in future exploration activity. The project included wildcat wells drilled during the period from 1990 to 1997. The dataset is based on a standard form developed in a collaboration between oil companies and the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate.

The analyses showed that there was a general tendency to overestimate volumes before drilling.

Following the studies, a decision was made in consultation with the industry to make the reporting of such data a permanent arrangement.

According to Section 31 of the Resource Management Regulations, licensees must report the forecast for and result of wildcat wells 6 months after drilling.

This data represents the operator’s view at the time of reporting and does not reflect any subsequent results from appraisal drilling or re-evaluations. Estimates and volume parameters must generally be listed with a range of uncertainty. The scope and quality of reported data varies, and for some, only basic estimates are available. In some instances, the NPD has adjusted or standardised formation names, structural elements and other data.

In accordance with the Norwegian Licence for Open Government Data (NLOD), the NPD takes no responsibility for the quality of the dataset, including any errors and deficiencies, and has no liability whatsoever for what the dataset is used for.

The NPD has a duty of confidentiality in relation to data, materials and information submitted to the public authorities. The duty of confidentiality has a duration of up to 20 years pursuant to Section 85 (3) and (4) of the Petroleum Regulations.

Data that is more than 20 years old can be released. The file with enclosed data sets will be updated once per year and will next be updated in the first quarter of 2022. The dataset will also be enclosed as a CSV file.