Concession Layer Methodology

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The term “Concession”

The repository uses the term concession to refer to the smallest demarcated area on the Earth's surface which exists as a unit within the official administration by a country or jurisdiction of its natural resources. This should not be confused with any contractual arrangement made to explore that area or produce resources in it, some types of which are referred to as “concession agreements”. In the parlance used here, a concession could be awarded under a license system, or any kind of contractual arrangement, such as a Production Sharing Agreement, or a Risk Service agreement.

Although this usage risks being ambiguous, it is in widespread use across the industry. For instance, the Schlumberger Glossary's entry for “concession” contains these two usages, as follows:

1. n. [Oil and Gas Business]
A grant extended by a government to permit a company to explore for and produce oil, gas or mineral resources within a strictly defined geographic area, typically beneath government-owned lands or lands in which the government owns the rights to produce oil, gas or minerals. The grant is usually awarded to a company in consideration for some type of bonus or license fee and royalty or production sharing provided to the host government for a specified period of time.
2. n. [Oil and Gas Business]
The geographic area in which the government allows a company to operate.

The repository adopts the second of these usages for the word.

Concession Names

Sometimes concession areas are referred to by a number and sometimes by a name. Sometimes the source puts the word Block of Field in front of a value, such as “Block 37” and sometimes not. In some cases, a concession area may be known by a combination of block number and name. For instance, the Pakistan concession map refers to entities such as “Block2866-2 (Kalat)”, or in Uganda, blocks such as “EA1 PAKWACH BASIN” and “EA4B LAKES EDWARD/GEORGE BASIN”. It is hard from the data currently available to determine if references like these, even from an official source, encapsulate the official designation of the concession, and if so if it has stayed the same since it was created, or has evolved over time, for example, by adding the name of a locale or field within the concession area once resources have been found.


The repository uses names from sources which derive from a government source. Since the government of a country in theory has sole agency (apart from in the United States) over block allocation systems and their naming, the government should be an authoritative source. In fact, government agencies can refer to concessions variously, and use different abbreviations and contractions but given the task of the repository, to propose a draft global open data for the concession layer, OpenOil decided to include whatever government-sourced data sets were available.

The data were found in a variety of formats.

  • Digitised data sets with rich data available in downloadable formats – 11 countries and 15,756 concessions.
  • Datasets available on official websites but on HTML pages that need to be scraped – 11 countries and 1237 concessions
  • PDF files available from official sources – 7 countries and 851 concessions.
  • Manual input from maps or unstructured data sources available on the Internet – 40 countries and 2,079 concessions.

Below is a table which displays the data more fully country by country:

Country Source Source Format Publication Date Concessions CSV-file
Albania [1] pdf 2013 24 download
Algeria [2] pdf 2005 185 download
Angola [3] pdf 2014 60 download
Argentina [4] html 2015 1516 download (1) download (2)
Australia [5] xls 2014 8643 download (1) download (2)
Barbados [6] pdf 2007 35 download
Belize [7] pdf 2014 137 download
Botswana [8] pdf 2014 16 download
Brazil [9] xls 2014 359 download
Cambodia [10] interactive map 29 download
Cameroon [11] pdf 2011 29 download
Chad [12] pdf 2014 56 download
China [13] xls 2014 34 download
Colombia [14] xls 2014 818 download
Cyprus [15] html 2014 12 download
Democratic Republic of Congo [16] pdf 2014 28 download
Egypt [17] interactive 2010 179 download
Equatorial Guinea [18] pdf 2014 63 download
Falkland Islands [19] pdf 2014 25 download
Faroe Islands [20] html 2014 55 download
Ghana [21] html 2014 18 download
Greece [22] jpeg 2014 21 download
Greenland [23] pdf 2015 43 download
Iceland [24] html 2014 126 download
India [25][26] html 2014 558 download (1) download (2)
Indonesia [27] pdf 2014 325 download
Ireland [28] pdf 2014 261 download
Ivory Coast [29] pdf 2014 27 download
Kazakhstan [30] pdf 2011 20 download
Kenya [31] jpeg 2006 46 download
Lebanon [32] pdf 2014 9 download
Liberia [33] jpeg 2014 17 download
Madagascar [34] map 2014 23 download
Mali [35] pdf 2011 29 download
Mauritania [36] gif 54 download
Mexico [37] xls/pdf 2014 442 download
Morocco [38] html 2014 63 download
Mozambique [39] pdf 2014 15 download
Myanmar [40] [41] html 2014 38 download
Namibia [42] interactive 2014 179 download
New Zealand [43] xls 2014 2210 download (1) download (2)
Niger [44] pdf 2012 36 download
Nigeria [45] html 2013 303 download
Norway [46] xls 2015 504 download (1) download (2)
Oman [47] pdf 2013 46 download
Pakistan [48] html 2014 46 download
Paraguay [49] jpeg 2014 24 download
Peru [50] csv,xml,other 2014 82 download
Philippines [51] pdf 2015 33 download
Poland [52] map 2014 137 download
Portugal [53] html,map 2015 18 download
Qatar [54] pdf 2013 6 download
Sao Tome and Principe [55] pdf 2011 19 download
Senegal [56] html, map 2011 19 download
Seychelles [57] jpeg 2014 4 download
South Africa [58] pdf 2014 99 download
South Korea [59] html 2014 20 download
Spain [60] pdf 2014 150 download
Suriname [61] jpeg 33 download
Tanzania [62] jpeg 2014 48 download
Thailand [63][64] html 2014 104 download
Timor-Leste [65] html 2015 8 download
Trinidad and Tobago [66] pdf 2014 24 download
Tunisia [67][68] html 2014 112 download
Uganda [69] jpeg 2014 16 download
United Kingdom [70] html 2011 1033 download (1) download (2)
Vietnam [71] html 2013 25 download
Yemen [72] html 2012 31 download
Zambia [73] xls 2011 16 download


Each data set is marked with the time it was retrieved, and the time of original publication of the dataset if known. As the status of concession areas can change at any time, the timestamp is necessary to denote the last point at which the information in the dataset was known to be true.

Relationship to other initiatives

This repository is a curation of data at a global level around oil concessions that exists in public domain across the Internet. As such, it is necessarily based on fuzzy and incomplete data. As of the end of 2014, there are important initiatives happening which should significantly increase data around oil concessions.


The expanded EITI Standard approved at its 2013 summit includes the requirement for all participating countries – now 48 – to include a full registry of licenses as part of its reporting under the initiative (section 3.9 of the 2013 standard).

Open Contracting Partnership

The Open Contracting Partnership is an initiative designed to encourage publication of all contracts paid for with public money which now extends to 27 countries, and which has just published a core data standard for publishers – i.e. government agencies – to follow.

This repository serves as a placeholder structure to gather in data in public domain and standardise it to the extent possible. It seeks to integrate these data sets into these and other open standards.