MMS changes proprietary term of certain geophysical information

The US Minerals Management Service published a final which will enable producers to request extensions to the length of time the agency treats their data as proprietary.

The US Minerals Management Service published a final which will enable producers to request extensions to the length of time the agency treats their data as proprietary.

Currently, the US Department of the Interior agency treats seismic and other data collected through permitted geophysical operations as proprietary for 25 years. The new rule, which was published in the Aug. 13 Federal Register and which goes into effect on Sept. 14, will allow companies to request a five-year extension under certain conditions.

“This new rule will encourage companies to reprocess old data using new technology and modeling systems to gain a better understanding of the resources available on the Outer Continental Shelf,” said Chris Oynes, MMS’s associate director for offshore energy and minierals management.

The new rule was designed to allow producers sufficient time to market geophysical information which might not have been reprocessed otherwise, he explained.

“The opportunity to apply for an extension to the proprietary term provides greater potential for a company to realize the commercial benefits of the data they’ve analyzed,” Oynes said. “Because the companies are required to share the data with the MMS, it also will give us a better understanding of available resources and will enable us to make more informed decisions regarding offshore energy development.”

The final rule can be found online at http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2009/pdf/E9-19198.pdf.

Contact Nick Snow atnicks@pennwell.com

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