More data and better accessibility

Raising Diskos to a completely new level in coming years is the ambition of Eric Toogood, manager of this NPD database.

Eric Toogood

Big Data.
The information managed by Eric Toogood and his team is constantly expanding, and is set to reach 30 petabytes within a few years. Playing a petabyte of music non-stop on an MP3 player would take 2 000 years.


Information being posted to the facility in the recent past has grown almost explosively, with content up from 400 terabytes at 31 December 2013 to one petabyte (1,000 terabytes) a year later.

Over the next five to six years, this volume of data could increase by 20-30 petabytes – primarily because of a change in the requirements for materials stored there.

From 2012, the NPD has required the oil companies also to post all raw data – known as field and pre-stack information. Until then, most of them had only entered post-stack details.

Put briefly, field data covers all input acquired by seismic survey ships, while pre-stack material has been part-processed and compressed – and therefore contains rather less information.

The post-stack category is processed pre-stack data, with even smaller content, and has so far provided the commonest basis for seismic interpretation and analysis by the oil companies.

However, pre-stack material contains 10-20 times more data and is intended to provide the company with accurate information about what might be located where.

Toogood also wants to incorporate metadata and better positioning information for survey ships, which tells users when, how and under what conditions the material has been acquired.

This is because the sound waves echoed back to the ship are influenced by a number of factors, such as wave heights, ocean currents, temperature and the salinity/density of the water.

Another technology which is expected to help Diskos continue developing is related to the Big Data concept.

The database is already one of the largest of its kind in the world. It contains well data right back to the first spudded on the NCS in 1966, and seismic survey findings from 1980.

This information has been acquired by different methods and technologies down to the present day from the North, Norwegian and Barents Seas.

The goal now is to exploit all these data simultaneously across sea areas, allowing geologists to track similarities in patterns and trends which escape even the best-trained eye.

When Big Data combines the data storage structure with new software, the result could be that information from the North Sea reveals new geological plays in the Barents Sea – or vice versa.

The huge expansion in data expected over coming years means that ever bigger transfer capacity will be required. Put simply, this need has so far been met by increasing fibre cable thickness.

However, the time taken by this approach has become a bottleneck. The answer could be for users, wherever they sit, to work directly with the Diskos database.

Another new development is that all members can also access qualityassured production data from the various fields on the NCS.

This information was previously reserved for the NPD and the relevant licensees, but could be of great interest to companies thinking of farming into a field.

French geoscience company CCG, which took over operation of Diskos on 1 January 2015, has financial incentives to offer additional services in competition with others. That opens the way to even wider and better use of the stored data.


Norwegian Continental Shelf no.2-2015

Main page - Contents
Bente Nyland on the NCS: Glass is half-full
The interview: Petroleum minister calls on companies to invest
Thinking outside the box made Maria’s development possible
Special report: 50 years
Norway’s offshores sector safer than before
Safety carries a cost
Seeking to cut documentation
Eldar Myhre and son Aslak discuss what oil has done with Norway NPD profile: Diskos database crucial for exploration success
Adding up to acclaim
Rockshot: Tight formations
Geology: Many benefits for society Find facts about the NCS