Last year in the October issue of Preview (172), I wrote a column entitled ‘Where has all the data gone?’ It was an article containing a summary about the many changes in the various administrative agencies that have at one time or another had something to do with managing oil and gas exploration data and titles in Australia. In that article I made mention of the newly formed NOTPA and their role in the industry.
It was recently pointed out that I had made a boo boo in my article regarding the assertion that NOPTA took over title administration of petroleum acreage from Geoscience Australia. The correct position is that Geoscience Australia was never the ‘titles administrator’, the designated authorities for titles administration were the states and territories, and I apologise for this error.
Back in 2012 when NOPTA was first created, there was a reasonable amount of negativity concerning this new entity. Some of which was probably just because NOPTA was new and a bit of an unknown quantity, and some of which was scare mongering from those who like to complain about government bureaucracy. The transfer of responsibility from one government agency to another is always done in the face of some complaining is it not? But now, three years on, NOPTA is here to stay and most if not all of the negativity has been washed away and, in my view, has been replaced with a new sense of optimism. My personal experience with NOPTA has been more than pleasant, and one of the things that strikes me about how they run the show at NOPTA is that they have solid and focussed objectives and are sincerely driven to meet them, while at the same time keeping a close eye on what the industry wants and needs from them – finding ways to meld the two together ‘on the fly’.
NOPTA has spent considerable time quietly making things easier and more transparent for industry, regularly seeking feedback on how they perform and seeking new and better ways to handle their role.
Since their inception, NOPTA has started (and in some cases completed) massive projects including the transfer of existing records held by the states, the establishment of the national core store and data repository and the establishment of the national offshore titles register. Each of these projects were significant in size and done with a minimum of interruption to the industry and all completed in only 2–3 years.
In my books, NOPTA has been one of the industries quiet achievers.
Speaking of quiet achievers, let’s talk about Frank Arnott. As you will see in this issue of Preview, there is a great opportunity to become the inaugural winner of the Frank Arnott award for innovation in visualisation and data integration.
Frank was a man that would have been the type of guy that I would have wanted to be around. His way of thinking was always outside the common sphere, with many of his concepts and developments being well ahead of his time.
The Frank Arnott award is a great chance to put to use some of his pioneering work in the industry, while at the same time giving yourself the opportunity to showcase your own industry prowess and take home some serious prize money. I know I am going to submit a project!