Petroleum Licensing and Contracting

9. Data ownership and confidentiality

This is an extremely contentious area. Investors consider both the ownership and confidentiality of the data they generate or acquire as vital to their commercial interests. Host states, on the other hand, see ownership as critical to building a national data repository to inform their decisions on the extractive sector. The government’s interest includes the right to release data as essential to the promotion of exploration and development interests. Contractual provisions, outside of a few industrialized states, now assign ownership to the host state while allowing the investor to retain copies of paper or electronic data and samples of physical data, subject to confidentiality requirements.