Case study – Geoscience Australia

Streamlined delivery system for offshore petroleum exploration data through the National Offshore Petroleum Information System (NOPIMS)

Summary

Awards for Digital Excellence winner 2017

Geoscience Australia (GA) implemented the National Offshore Petroleum Information Management System (NOPIMS) to manage offshore petroleum data and samples, including those supplied to the Australian Government under the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage Act 2006.

To facilitate industry’s ease of access to publically available data for use in exploration, the Repository Team developed and implemented an improved streamlined system to load, discover and deliver offshore Well and Survey data into NOPIMS. This addressed workflow issues that were cumbersome and expensive to implement. It enabled GA to make over 95% of its petroleum data holdings discoverable in NOPIMS, ensuring the provenance of the data, and meeting the National Archives' Digital Continuity 2020 Policy requirements for valuing data, interoperability between stakeholders and making data accessible.

Agency overview

Geoscience Australia
Geoscience Australia - winner medium agency category (between 200 and 1000 people) for their case study: National Offshore Petroleum Information Management System (NOPIMS).

Geoscience Australia is Australia's pre-eminent public sector geoscience organisation, and the nation's trusted advisor on the geology and geography of Australia, providing first class geoscientific data, information and knowledge which supports informed decision making in relation to: Responsible development of the nation’s resources, including management of the environment; Cleaner and low emissions energy technology; Marine planning and protection; and Community safety.

GA’s Resources Division is responsible for providing a National Offshore Petroleum Information Management System (NOPIMS). NOPIMS holds both open and commercial-in-confidence information and is accessed by GA staff, the public (including mining and petroleum companies), and the National Offshore Petroleum Titles Administrator (NOPTA) staff.


Introduction

On Friday 17 June 2016, the GA Repository Manager confirmed the completion of the NOPIMS deliverable for the Portfolio Budget Statements 2015-16: Full implementation of the NOPIMS successfully delivering a platform to manage offshore petroleum data and samples, including those supplied to the Australian Government under the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage Act 2006.

palet of 1264 tapes for a single surveyData held in NOPIMS are of significant value to Australia. The Australian energy sector’s direct contribution to gross value added to the economy is around 6% per annum, with $4.8 billion generated through the access and sharing of oil and gas open-file data. The Department of Finance states that Geoscience Australia is a significant contributor to these value benefits primarily through its pre-competitive oil and gas data delivery capability.

GA’s Resources Division’s Repository Team delivers data on an ongoing basis to the offshore petroleum exploration industry to promote investment in Australia’s energy sector. The team’s level of service is a key determinant of GA’s reputation with an important stakeholder.

The digital data and physical assets such as drill core are kept in perpetuity, as there is enduring value in the holding. The value of the holding to the petroleum exploration industry is high with replacement costs in the order of billions of dollars. The 2017 cost to replace the existing holding of Wells is $170 billion and $26 billion for Surveys.

The data cycle begins with data being delivered to GA on tapes. As an example, in November 2016 GA received a pallet of 1264 tapes for a single survey containing between 0.5 to 0.9 petabytes of data. The figures below show the tapes before and after unpacking, indicating the size of the data.


Project objectives

tapes before and after unpackingNOPIMS’ objectives are to:

  1. Provide over the web a single data discovery and delivery platform across multiple jurisdictions to manage offshore petroleum Commercial-In-Confidence and Open data and information; and physical samples (drill cores & rock samples); 
  2. Combine the strengths of associated Government agencies that include Western Australia Department of Mines and Petroleum to efficiently and effectively provide a ‘value-for-money’ petroleum data management system that supports NOPTA’s and GA’s legislative and public-good responsibilities;
  3. Deliver capabilities for:
    a. Industry data discovery and delivery;
    b. Data management;
    c. Physical samples management; and
    d. Metadata management

The vision is for all stakeholders to submit, manage, and retrieve their own data wholly within NOPIMS.

Project execution

Over a period of three months, the Repository Team developed and implemented an improved streamlined system to load, discover and deliver offshore Well and Survey data into NOPIMS, as the previous workflow had proved too cumbersome and expensive to implement. This enabled GA to make over 95% of its petroleum data holdings discoverable in the NOPIMS in time for the annual Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association (APPEA) meeting and 2016 Offshore Petroleum Acreage Release.

The team re-engineered the data model by streamlining the workflow whilst maintaining the data lineage for discovery and delivery. The innovative use and expansion of a data management tool that the team developed, systematically and speedily packages the data for upload into NOPIMS was essential to the success.

In conjunction with NOPTA, metadata records were created and validated for each Well and Survey, and the Well and Survey electronic documents packaged and loaded into NOPIMS ready for web delivery. GA’s holding includes:

Well header metadata
3426 items
Survey header metadata
1975 items
Well electronic documents
15,432 items
Survey electronic documents
16,356 items
Robotic Data Store Library
2.37 Petabytes
Physical Cores and samples curated
16,000 kilometres
Total number of curated database items
1.3 million items

Project outcomes

The team exemplified their commitment to service by ensuring the best possible data access and delivery experience by industry users. The development is aligned with the Public Sector Process Rebuilding (PPR) model, which was applied to the NOPIMS development to ensure adherence to international e-government best practice models. The NOPIMS is an example where IT evolved to the extent that it fundamentally changed the way GA interacts with industry and NOPTA. As the NOPIMS evolved through the four PPR phases, it delivered direct benefits to GA and its key stakeholders in three key areas: 1) Data entry; 2) Data management; and 3) Data delivery.

The offshore petroleum industry can now discover and self-serve the data, meeting their long-held expectations. The streamlined workflow creates efficiencies within the Repository, saving GA time and money, and significantly enhancing its reputation with key stakeholders.

Project impact

The principal impacts to Geoscience Australia of this change in process are:

  1. A significant reduction in the number and complexity of industry requests for data through Client Services; and
  2. NOPIMS is the authoritative source for data, allowing for the complete removal of duplicate data at GA, resulting in significant ongoing savings to IT infrastructure and operational staff costs.

Currently there are 853 registered NOPIMS users growing at around 50 new users per month. Monthly downloads have exceeded over 4000 documents amounting to approximately 4 Terabytes of data.

Copyright National Archives of Australia 2017