Services from Data by Design

Steve Allen

Profession Geologist/Consultant
Position Managing Director, Data by Design Ltd
Qualifications BSc (Hons) Geology
Years Experience 40


Having graduated from Southampton University, Steve joined ERICO as a junior geologist assisting in major mapping and regional projects in the North Sea and Mediterranean areas. He then progressed to Senior Geologist and became involved in the design and implementation of an Oracle based North Sea database which was sold commercially to over 15 companies. Further work included the development of a CD-ROM digital data system whilst progressing on a personal level to Technical Director with responsibility for overall management and development of the computing and data services divisions. On leaving ERICO in 1990, Steve formed his own company, Integrated Digital Services Limited, with overall management and marketing responsibility together with database design and implementation using ORACLE and PARADOX software. During this time Steve also pioneered the use of CD-ROM technology for both data archiving and distribution and produced geo-technical publications on CD-ROM. Steve was also involved with the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG) in producing digital versions of their bulletins and publications.

In January 1993 Steve joined Robertson Research International (then known as Simon Petroleum Technology) as Director of Petroleum Data Management following the acquisition by Robertson of his company. Over the next three years Steve built this division up to over 1.5m annual turnover and secured a number of strategically important contracts including the High Quality Log Data project for the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD), the UK Digital Logs project with the UK Department of Trade and Industry and the GIS/FORALL database population project for Agip S.p.a. In September 1996 Steve once again chose to start his own business developing new technology, such as the Internet and Intranet, as a means of data management and information distribution. In addition to providing Data Management consulting Steve now develops Web applications for the oil and gas industry and electronic publishing.

Academic Qualifications

1972 - 1976 BSc (Hons) II(ii) Geology, Southampton University

Working Experience

Sep 1996 to Present DATA DESIGN LIMITED

Managing Director

Responsible for data management consulting, Web page design, Internet and Intranet publishing and general facilitation of information use through new technology. Data by Design specialise in publishing geo-technical and oil industry related material on CD-ROM and the Intranet using the latest web technology. An extensive knowledge and experience gained in petroleum data management also provides the basis for the provision of data management consultancy both from its own staff and its associates.

  • Publication of Digital Oil Company Key Facts

  • Publication of Digital New Ventures Survey (1996, 1997, 1998, 1999 & 2000)

  • Publication of UK DTI Brown Book report on CD-ROM, 1998, 1999, 2000 and 2001

  • Publication of UK DTI Blue Book on CD-ROM 2000

  • Data management consultant for British Gas, Pakistan

  • Review of data management strategy for ADCO, Abu Dhabi

  • Petroleum Data Management advisor to Robertson Research International

  • Database design and maintenance for Pinacl Communications Ltd

Design & maintenance of numerous corporate web sites including:

  • Petroleum Exploration Society of Great Britain

  • Common Data Access Limited

  • Conwy County Borough Council Tourism & Leisure

  • North Wales Conferences

  • SeiScan Geodata

  • KP Seismic

  • North Wales Theatre

  • Aberdeen Formation Evaluation Society

  • Hydrosearch Associates

  • Exi

  • St Tudno Hotel

  • The Body Shop Technical Site

  • The Elms Hotel

  • St Margarets Hotel

  • Benards Gallery

  • North Wales IT Cluster

  • Geoscience Wales

  • Gwynedd Council Business Department

  • Gwynedd Council Archives and Museums Department

  • Anglesey Geophysics

  • Donoghue-Brown Recruitment Agents

  • William Denton Jones Accountants

  • GeoDesign Ltd

  • James Armstrong & Associates

  • RS Travel

Consultant work including:

  • Consultant to the DTI/Industry Task Force to develop the business model and contract award for the UK Licence for Trading (LIFT).

  • Consultant to UK Offshore Operators Association for design and business model for development of and Data Environment Associated with Lift (DEAL) web site.

  • Consultant to the DTI to develop web version of Digital Borwn Book and Digital Blue Book.

  • Consultant to Common Data Access Limited to develop business plan and contract for re-tendering of National Data Repository

Apr 2018 - Apr 2020

AAPG International Pavilion - Director of Country Co-ordination
Responsible for negotiating with ministries and state oil companies to exhibit at major AAPG shows (ACE, APPEX and ICE).  Assist with running of the International Pavilion at these events and managing the theatre at these events.

Nov 2008 to Mar 2018

Sales and Business Development Manager, International Well Data
Responsible for sales of all non-US well log data to global market.  also responsible for sourcing data from new countries and increasing data library from existing countries, excluding USA.

Jan 1993 to Sep 1996

Robertson Research International Limited (formerly SPT)
Director of Petroleum Data Management
Responsible for all digital data products created within Robertson Research, specifically responsible for Petroleum Data Management division currently employing 63 personnel. Also responsible for Computing Support on site and co-ordinating all computer usage throughout Robertson Research. During the two years since joining RRI Steve has secured and managed several major projects including the UK Logs project for the Department of Trade and Industry and the High Quality Log Data Project for the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate.

Jan 1990 to Dec 1992 Integrated Digital Services Limited
Managing Director

Responsible for overall management and marketing within the company. Directly responsible for database design and implementation using ORACLE and PARADOX software. Developed IDS INTERBASE exploration database system using ORACLE. Designed and implemented ORACLE based North African database for Masera Corporation.

Negotiated and signed contract with UK Department of Trade and Industry to collate, archive and publish on CD-ROM copies of Dipmeter tapes.

Negotiated and signed contract with UK Department of Trade and Industry to publish first ever Seismic Survey in the UK on CD-ROM as collection of SEG-Y files.

Performed numerous data population exercises for major oil companies utilising scanning and Optical Recognition Software (OCR) and conventional data entry techniques.

Apr 1988 to Dec 1989 ERICO Petroleum Information Limited
Technical Director
ERICO Data Services Limited
Managing Director

Responsible for overall management and development of ERICO’s Computer-based Division and Data Services Division. Directly responsible for product design and development and marketing. Developed exploration database based on Oracle and pioneered publication of digital wireline log data on CD-ROM. Co-ordinated all technical staff within Erico.
Jan 1982 to Mar 1988 ERICO Petroleum Information Limited
Senior Geologist

Designed and implemented conversion of ERICO’s North Sea database to ORACLE based system. Jointly designed and developed ERICO’s CD-ROM Digital Data System. Responsible for purchase, installation and development of ERICO’s computer equipment, including DEC VAX System and IBM PCs.

Project Director on several major ERICO studies including:
  • Exploration Geology and Geophysics of the Netherlands.
  • ERICO’s Digital Data Projects: UK Phases 1, 2 and 3; Netherlands Phases 1, 2 and 3; and Norway Phases 1 and 2.
  • ERICO’s North Sea Data Bank.
  • Geoseismic Correlation Project: UK Phase 1.
Nov 1976 to Dec 1981 ERICO Research Laboratories
Junior Geologist

ERICO Data Services Limited, Assistant Production Manager
Assisted in major mapping and regional projects in the North Sea and Mediterranean. Processing orders for ERICO Data Services Limited. Data entry and quality control of ERICO North Sea Data Bank.

Professional Affiliations

  • Fellow of the Geological Society
  • Active Member of the European Association of Petroleum Geologists
  • Member of the London Petrophysical Society
  • Member of the Petroleum Exploration Society of Great Britain
  • Member of the SPWLA Data Standards Sub-committee (1988-1989)

Training Courses

Course instructor for Training Course :‘Petroleum Data Management - An Overview’

  • Presented in 1996 to British Gas Pakistan
  • Presented in 1995 to various attendees from UK industry
  • Presented in 1994 to BP, Aberdeen
  • Presented in 1997 to British Gas, Pakistan
  • Presented in 1997 to NOC of Libya, on behalf of Troika Associates
  • 1996 - Introduction to Electronic Publication and the World Wide Web
  • 1995 - Time management course
  • 1984 - Public Speaking and Presentational Skills Course
  • 1980 - Attended MSc Petroleum Geology Course at Imperial College, London.
  • 1978 - Schlumberger Introduction to Wireline Logging Techniques


  • 1995, Allen, S.G; CD-ROM and its application to the petroleum industry, In: Giles, J.R A. (ed.) 1995, Geological Data Management, Geological Society Spec. Pub. No 97, pp 163-180
  • Paper on the Application of CD-ROM’s in the Petroleum Industry published by the Geological Society, 1996
  • Presented to the Geological Information Group of the Geological Society, London 1994
  • Presentation on Electronic Publication of Geo-technical Documents on CD-ROM, presented to Geological Information Group, Geological Society, Bristol1996
  • Presentation on Electronic Publication of Geo-technical Documents on CD-ROM, presented to Emirates Exploration Society, Abu Dhabi 1996
  • Presentation on Use of PC Application in the Oil and Gas industry given at the Cairo Exploration Society, Cairo 1988
  • Presentation on Use of PC Applications in the Oil and Gas industry given to Sonatrach, Algiers, 1988


Date Of Birth 31 October 1954
Marital Status Married, two children
Nationality British
Hobbies Vintage Motor Cycle Grass Track Racing, Classic Cars, Reading, New Technology
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