2. Confidentiality of data gathered under exploration and production contracts
Regulation, or in some cases exploration and production contracts, should detail the confidentiality rules for exploration and production data. The current trend is for the duration of the confidentiality period to become shorter. It is now generally limited to three or four years from the date of data acquisition. The reason is to give the earliest possible access to data to all explorers, and thereby encourage exploration activities within the country.
Confidentiality ends if the exploration area is surrendered, even if the three- or four-year confidentiality period has not expired. If the exploration area is surrendered or relinquished, the State is and remains the owner of the geological data, which can be used for the preparation and promotion of future data packages.