Guidelines for the destruction of material

The destruction of material and information (data) which may be of importance to the management of resources is regulated in the Regulations to the Act relating to petroleum activities (the Petroleum Regulations), Section 55, last subsection:

Section 55. Safekeeping duty

The licensee shall retain for safekeeping material and information necessary to ensure that the Ministry can verify whether the petroleum activities are carried out in accordance with the statutory framework of legislation, for as long as it provides necessary information about the petroleum activities.

If the operator wishes to destroy material or information which may be of importance to the management of resources, the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate shall receive a list of material and information prior to it being destroyed, and may within a reasonable time after having received the list, order handing over or further safekeeping free of charge. In the case of handing over, sufficient documentation in relation to such material and information shall be included.

Operators that wish to destroy material or information that may be of importance for the management of resources must submit an overview of such data to the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) on form S-6, prior to undertaking any such destruction. The overview must be submitted to

The NPD will conduct a specific assessment of whether such material or information can be destroyed. The below table provides guidelines for how the NPD normally assesses various types of cases. This is not an exhaustive list:


  NPD's assessment Comments
Reformatting The original media, or extra media copies if relevant, may be destroyed if the information has been transferred to newer media without the need to apply pursuant to the Petroleum Regulations §55.  
Type of survey Traditionally, the NPD has not regarded trace-data from site surveys as useful when the data is too old. Pursuant to new reporting rules, site surveys must be reported to Diskos, and the NPD's assessment is therefore that such original information from the old site surveys may have value for subsequent years. The NPD will therefore make a concrete assessment of such cases. Operator must use the form to indicate which survey type is involved.
Data processed after 1980 For seismic data processed after 1980 (other than site surveys) post-stack data and/or relevant reports must be reported to Diskos before the original data (and any reformatted data) is destroyed. Operator must provide information regarding this on the form.
Old paper and sepia-seismic sections It is not necessary to retain old papers and sepia-seismic sections if the area from which the seismic originates has subsequently been "overshot" by more recent surveys. Operator must include information on the form as to whether the licensee or others have “overshot” the same area. If this is the case, operator must state which surveys have been re-shot (name of survey + NPD-id).
Copies – Licensee It is relevant for the NPD's assessment whether the data to be destroyed are copies that the company has received as licensee (not operator). If the licensee has confirmed that the operator is retaining the data, copies may be destroyed.
Old seismic field data In general terms, the NPD's position is that data from seismic surveys must be loaded to Diskos if navigation exists and other necessary metadata has not been lost. If more recent surveys exist for the area, the NPD will consider whether data from older surveys can be destroyed. Operator must indicate on the form which field data has metadata (incl. navigation) and indicate, if relevant, which newer surveys exist in the area.
Diskos data Copies of data loaded to Diskos and where the NPD has been granted access, can be destroyed without need for application pursuant to Section 55 of the Petroleum Regulations. However, before data is discarded, a check must be made to ensure that metadata and naming conventions in Diskos are correct, and that all relevant reports have been submitted. If such data is available in the overview submitted to the NPD, the operator must indicate on the form whether the data has been stored in Diskos and whether the NPD has been granted access.

Updated: 06/11/2019