Abstract

The Japan National Oil Corporation has constructed a National Data Repository to address the data management needs of both JNOC and the Japanese oil industry at large. Before this project, JNOC had difficulty managing the vast amount of data that it acquired each year. The costs associated with data management were large as well. Since the creation of the Repository, JNOC has been able to meet several goals. First, the secure and entitled storage of well and seismic data is ensured. Second, those data are more readily accessible by all potential users. Third, it has begun to unify the data management practices at JNOC, making them easier to maintain and define. It is also allowing users to go to a single place for all their data needs. Fourth, the project has reduced data management costs at JNOC and will do so for the Japanese oil companies as well. As part of its service to the local industry, JNOC is providing the NDR facility and expertise to all oil companies in Japan. This will allow them to reduce their data management costs, for both JNOC-sponsored projects and any others they choose to house at the NDR. The facility makes this possible by providing a fully entitled data store.

Introduction

The Japan National Data Repository (NDR) is the latest development in the structuring of data management practices and facilities for the Japanese oil industry. It is the result of a partnership between the Japan National Oil Corporation (JNOC) and Schlumberger that aims to support the data management needs of both JNOC and the rest of the Japanese oil industry. In order to place the NDR in context, it is useful to understand the position of JNOC relative to the rest of the Japanese oil industry. It is also useful to look at the state of data management at JNOC and in Japan before the creation of the NDR.

JNOC's Position in the Industry.

The Japan National Oil Corporation is a government body under the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI). It is charged with two main missions: to build and maintain a stockpile of oil for Japan and to support the Japanese oil industry in its quest to find and exploit oil resources around the world. Data management issues related to the NDR fall under the second mission, that of supporting the industry in its quest for oil (Fig. 1). We will discuss only the second mission here.

JNOC is mainly a financial resource for the Japanese oil companies. Japanese companies will propose exploration opportunities to JNOC. If the proposal is accepted, JNOC will generally provide 40% of the exploration budget as a loan to a project company. Moreover, the remaining investment is often shared equally between JNOC and the Japanese companies. This can bring JNOC's interest in the exploration as high as 70%. JNOC has assisted over 300 oil and gas exploration projects, as of March 1999. Of these there are still 102 active projects around the world.

Moreover, JNOC funds geophysical surveys designed to assess the potential for oil reserves in countries around the globe and in Japan. These surveys allow JNOC to acquire data in areas that do not yet have enough data to properly analyze the oil reserve potential. These surveys also play a key role in building cooperation between Japan and other countries.

JNOC has invested billions of dollars over the last 30 years through these two avenues. Due to this large investment in exploration, JNOC has a strong interest in managing the data generated by these activities to maximize its utility and value.

JNOC is not an isolated body that must only deal with Japanese oil companies; it also plays a larger role in Japan. Being a government body, supported by government funding and ultimately tax money, JNOC must serve a diverse set of institutions. The Ministry legitimately has a right to audit JNOC's functioning, universities may wish to access some of the data, the public has a right for oversight of the organization or other government bodies may also have an interest in the data.

JNOC's Position in the Industry.

The Japan National Oil Corporation is a government body under the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI). It is charged with two main missions: to build and maintain a stockpile of oil for Japan and to support the Japanese oil industry in its quest to find and exploit oil resources around the world. Data management issues related to the NDR fall under the second mission, that of supporting the industry in its quest for oil (Fig. 1). We will discuss only the second mission here.

JNOC is mainly a financial resource for the Japanese oil companies. Japanese companies will propose exploration opportunities to JNOC. If the proposal is accepted, JNOC will generally provide 40% of the exploration budget as a loan to a project company. Moreover, the remaining investment is often shared equally between JNOC and the Japanese companies. This can bring JNOC's interest in the exploration as high as 70%. JNOC has assisted over 300 oil and gas exploration projects, as of March 1999. Of these there are still 102 active projects around the world.

Moreover, JNOC funds geophysical surveys designed to assess the potential for oil reserves in countries around the globe and in Japan. These surveys allow JNOC to acquire data in areas that do not yet have enough data to properly analyze the oil reserve potential. These surveys also play a key role in building cooperation between Japan and other countries.

JNOC has invested billions of dollars over the last 30 years through these two avenues. Due to this large investment in exploration, JNOC has a strong interest in managing the data generated by these activities to maximize its utility and value.

JNOC is not an isolated body that must only deal with Japanese oil companies; it also plays a larger role in Japan. Being a government body, supported by government funding and ultimately tax money, JNOC must serve a diverse set of institutions. The Ministry legitimately has a right to audit JNOC's functioning, universities may wish to access some of the data, the public has a right for oversight of the organization or other government bodies may also have an interest in the data.

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