National Data Repository: Concept, Content and Uses

India has joined the rank of elite nations like the UK and Norway as the Union Government unveiled the establishment of a National Data Repository for the upstream sector. It was announced by Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan during his appearance at the DG Carbons Roadshow programme in Abu Dhabi.

What is the National Data Repository?

The National Data Repository is an integrated, comprehensive data repository for recordkeeping of Exploration and Production (E&P) data of all Indian sedimentary basins. It offers a unique platform for all E&P Service Companies, E&P Operators, E&P Investors, and Academia to access and analyze data on Indian sedimentary basins. It is another step towards achieving the central government’s ambitious target of setting up a National Knowledge Hub (NKH) or a National Knowledge Centre (NKC) in E&P areas in the next few years.

What will the repository hold?

The repository is responsible for safeguarding India’s data on hydrocarbon exploration and production in a way that it can be accessed by those who need it, further analyzed and researched. It is said to open the possibility for better prospects of petroleum exploration and improve the bidding process.

What are its primary objectives?

The primary objective remains to provide a directory for seamless access to exploration and production data. Furthermore, India wants to join the elite group of nations that provide accurate data to geoscientific agencies. It will also allow the government to monitor and control production activities. India can encourage new explorations with the help of accurate past data. Under the Open Acreage Licensing Programme (OALP), a company is allowed to put in an expression of interest to prospect oil and gas in any area that is currently not under any production or exploration license. This repository will let companies understand better as to which site deserves their attention.

Conclusion

Despite the world moving towards renewable sources of energy, fossil fuels aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. India happens to have a 45.3% for natural gas/LNG and 82.8% import dependence for crude oil. We need to substitute a large chunk of it with homegrown resources. The National Data Repository is only one of the early steps towards achieving that goal.

Question for UPSC Mains:
India is highly dependent on foreign imports for its oil needs. What steps is the government taking to bring India closer to self-sufficiency?

Published: January 16, 2020 | Modified:January 16, 2020

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