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I asked Bill Anderson, one of our consulting managers and also a Geologist in a former life, for his thoughts on this.  He responded directly to Susan, but I thought others might benefit from the response.

Bill's Response:

Some thoughts on destruction of seismic tapes:

There is no industry standard.  As pointed out by others, most companies just hang onto tapes, even though they may no longer be able to read the old ones.  

Two simple answers:

1.	Degauss the tapes (demagnetize them) and toss or recycle the carcasses.  
a.	There are commercial companies that will do this (Google 'tape degaussing' for a sampler).  
b.	This probably needs to happen off-site, especially if you have hundreds or thousands of tapes.  That will increase the cost and the risk of compromise.

2.	 Most tape media can be shredded by a commercial shredding operator, probably including the truck-mounted units that come to your site (call to verify).

Other considerations.not knowing your exact situation:

1.	Verify whether the data is owned by Nustar, or was licensed from another owner.  Most E&P companies have some of each.  Even if the data came to Nustar via an acquisition, it still could be "non-owned" data.though it might be challenging to trace the records back to verify ownership.  Seismic licenses are generally non-transferable, and lawsuits have arisen over this scenario.

a.	If it is owned by Nustar, you can do whatever you want with it, including generating revenue for Nustar by licensing it or selling it to others.  If you take this route, farm out the licensing or sale to a reputable seismic broker who will manage the process, market the data, and split the licensing fees or sale price with Nustar.

b.	Consider donating owned seismic data to a university Geoscience department (UTSA, UT Austin, Texas A&M, Baylor, etc.) for research or teaching.and take a nice tax deduction.

c.	On the other hand, if you don't own the data, you'd best review the contract or license agreement to determine if there is a special requirement to return it to the owner or dispose of it in a certain way.  There might also be a contractual requirement to notify the licensor when you destroy it, and then you can cancel the contract.

2.	For exploration companies, seismic data has a very long retention period (indefinite, life of field, life of prospect, etc.).  However, if you are no longer in that business, seismic data is probably not a "record" to Nustar, and retention therefore is not an issue.

3.	If you still want to destroy it, go through the same motions as you would when destroying managed records:  First verify if there are any retention requirements.  Get specific written approval of the local owner, check for litigation holds, and keep a formal log of what you've destroyed.  Comply with contractual requirements (if any) and check state environmental regulations for disposing of magnetic tape.

4.	If you are trying to destroy the data (as well as the tape media containing the data), be sure you have also purged it from other applications and data repositories, such as Landmark or SMT systems, or Oracle databases.  

5.	Some older seismic data, though not acquired using the latest technology, still has value (to Nustar or other industry players) because the survey area has now been developed or placed off-limits, and is no longer available for seismic investigation.


Douglas Schultz, ECMM, ERMM
Access Sciences Corporation
Celebrating 25 years   
713.554.9570 (direct)   |   832.367.0468 (mobile)   |   713.664.4357 (main)   |   713.664.4825 (fax) 
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-----Original Message-----
From: Records Management Program [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Rickman, Susan
Sent: Thursday, June 10, 2010 2:34 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Destruction of Seismic tapes

Normally, they do.  We, however, no longer do any type of drilling.  We obtained these tapes through various mergers and acquisitions and are now more focused on the distribution of oil and gas and also asphalt.

-----Original Message-----
From: Records Management Program [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Peter Kurilecz
Sent: Thursday, June 10, 2010 2:28 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Destruction of Seismic tapes

On Thu, Jun 10, 2010 at 2:35 PM, Rickman, Susan <
[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> I am inquiring about the destruction of seismic tapes.
>

always thought energy companies liked to maintain seismic tapes for future
reference (reprocessing/reanalyis/etc) and for trading with other companies


-- 
Peter Kurilecz CRM CA
[log in to unmask]
Richmond, Va
http://twitter.com/RAINbyte
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