Oscar Roldán
View from the Top

Pioneering Schemes Open Data to Private Companies

Tue, 03/20/2018 - 09:34

Q: How is CNIH providing private companies with access to the data it owns?

A: Companies have access through one of two licensing schemes. The first applies to oil and gas operators. Through this scheme, operators have the right to use the information contained in each data package to study their areas of interest and to place their bids in the licensing rounds. The information can also be used to improve a company’s performance in E&P operations. The second scheme stipulates that data be used for commercialization purposes that are not directly related to E&P operations. Rather, the data should bolster the development of new products and services that will support operators’ activities and be sold on the open market. 

These two schemes are priced differently to incentivize the development of new business ideas. The second scheme offers the data at 2 percent of the cost of the first scheme. If the data made available under the second scheme were to be sold at the same price as that for E&P operations, the price would become a direct barrier for companies looking to innovate in the market. To ensure the country benefits from the value of the data provided under the second scheme at a lower price, there is a clause stipulating that if the data is successfully used for commercialization purposes then the company will pay a 30 percent royalty on the final sale price to CNH. This approach is completely new in the market, both domestically and internationally, making CNH a pioneer. Essentially, we are opening the oil and gas industry while nationalizing the data, which is backed by Article 32 of the Hydrocarbons Law. This states that all the geological, geophysical, petrophysical, petrochemical and related data gathered by PEMEX throughout its history, or by any other company in the past, present or future, belongs and will belong to the nation, and CNIH will manage it accordingly. 

Q: Why has CNIH established two license schemes?

A: Simply put, there was too much archival data for operators to digest and create the valuable analyses required to improve their knowledge and operations. We concluded that there had to be a way to analyze and digest the abundant data we owned, and then sell that knowledge as a final product that operators could use. We also noted that if an operator created knowledge from the data we owned only for its own use, it would not improve the state of the industry as a whole.