The Chief Executive of Ghana’s Petroleum Commission, Egbert Faibille, has described petroleum data as a national asset which must be safeguarded through efficient data management systems for future benefit to the state.
“It is a time-tested truth that oil and gas discoveries are the product of repeated use of data. This underscores the value of petroleum data as a national asset, which when properly stored, verified, updated, distributed, utilised and re-utilised, can lead to the discovery of otherwise unknown national petroleum resources,” he said.
“Petroleum data is indeed a national asset and must be harnessed and protected as such.”
Speaking at the 3rd African Petroleum Data Management (APDM)Workshop in Accra last week, Egbert Faibille highlighted the importance of the exercise to the Commission and urged representatives from other Oil for Development (OfD) member countries to keep sharing knowledge and experiences on the issue.
“As Ghana’s upstream regulator, the Petroleum Commission is keen in participating in the APDM workshops because we are aware of the manifold advantages such collaborative relations and knowledge sharing with other OfD partner countries provide for us. We are conscious of the commonality of our challenges and know that we can find strength in charting a better path when we pull together our collective knowledge and experiences,” he added.
He highlighted a major challenge of petroleum data management to underscore the importance of knowledge and experience sharing of OfD countries to minimise such occurrences.
“One of the key challenges of data management is ‘Dark Data’. This is data that cannot be retrieved or found due to mislabeling, inadequate metadata records or loss in transition. This causes lost value to petroleum business and leaves knowledge gaps in the understanding of the petroleum resource/ assets that need to the managed,” he lamented.
Participants from five other African countries – Uganda, Kenya, Mozambique, Somalia and Sudan – converged in Accra, Ghana, for the 3rd African Petroleum Data Management Workshop under the auspices of the Ghana Petroleum Commission with support from the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) through the Oil for Development (OfD) Programme.
The Oil for Development (OfD) Programme was set up by the Norwegian government in 2005 following several requests from countries that sought to learn from Norway’s petroleum management experience. The programme offers technical assistance to participating countries in their effort to manage petroleum resources in a sustainable manner.
Ghana in 2009, benefited from technical assistance from Norway’s OfD programme to build a National Data Centre. This was further supplemented with some financial assistance from the World Bank in 2010 under the Oil and Gas Capacity building Project (OGCP).