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Project background 

The initial development of the SIMORC system took place within the SIMORC project from 1st June 2005 till 1st December 2007 and has been co-funded by the European Commission. Note: From 1st December 2007 onwards the SIMORC service is operated and maintained by MARIS and BODC, first till end 2015 in an arrangement with IOGP, and since 2016 in an arrangement with Total.

SIMORC Project:


The objectives of the SIMORC project are:

  • to create a central index and database of metocean data sets, collected by the oil & gas industry at various sites on the globe in the past and continuing at present
  • to facilitate harmonisation in quality and formats, storing and retrieving of these industry metocean datasets for use by industry partners and scientific users
  • to create a searchable overview of hindcast studies, performed under contract of the oil & gas industry at various sites on the globe
  • to define and to establish arrangements for use, updating and long term operation of the SIMORC facility beyond the project period 
  • to promote and to disseminate the SIMORC facility in both the oil & gas industry and scientific communities to achieve an increasing number of contributing parties and users


The ultimate aim of the project is to deliver an operational SIMORC service on the Internet, featuring a searchable central index and a database of the metocean data sets, collected by the oil & gas industry at various sites on the globe in the past and continuing at present. The SIMORC service must become an operational facility, that will provide storage, retrieval and access functionalities to these metocean data sets and that will serve as the future portal for industry metocean data sets.

The index metadatabase will be public domain and fully open for internet users. It will feature a geographic – alpha numeric user interface to easily locate interesting data sets. Where possible, the user will also be provided with metadata on related analysis reports. The metadata index will provide sufficient information to allow the user to assess the relevance of the data sets and possible related study reports to their particular interest.

The database will store and contain metocean data sets, that have undergone quality control and conversion to unified formats, resulting in consistent and high quality, harmonized data sets. Sufficient documentation will be compiled and stored alongside the data sets.

The SIMORC facility will feature import routines for updating the index metadatabase and the database of data sets. It will also feature export routines for downloading retrieved data sets by users.

Access to data sets will be regulated. A dedicated SIMORC protocol will be established, involving rules for access and use of data sets by scientific users, by oil & gas companies between each other, and by third parties, private and public.

Active promotion and dissemination of the new SIMORC service will be undertaken towards scientific community, oil & gas industry and third party users worldwide.

To continue the SIMORC service after project end an exploitation agreement between the consortium partners will be drafted and established.

To achieve the objectives of SIMORC the work plan is divided in the following Work Packages (WP):

WP1 Project Management
WP2 Definitions & specifications
WP3 Gathering, QC and Compilation of harmonized Metocean data sets
WP4 Development of Internet database, retrieval and delivery system
WP5 Promotion, dissemination, and exploitation

 These activities are divided over the SIMORC partners in broad lines as follows:

  • MARIS is responsible for overall management and reporting (WP1), specifying, setting up and operating of internet index and database facility (WP2 + WP4), contributing to production of metadata (WP3) and to dissemination and exploitation activities (WP5).
  • IOGP members are responsible for gathering and making available their metocean data sets and providing additional documentation, and any relevant analysis reports (WP3), for providing input and feedback to the SIMORC system developments (WP2 + WP4), and for contributing to dissemination and exploitation activities (WP5).
  • BODC is responsible for quality control and processing of supplied data sets, securing harmonized data quality and standard QC procedures for future updates, coordinating the production of metadata (WP2 + WP3) and contributing to dissemination and exploitation activities (WP5).
  • IOC-IODE is responsible for promotion and dissemination on a global scale to the academic world and including the IOGP facility in its educational programs for developing countries (WP5), and contributing to formulation of QC procedures (WP2).
    Advisory Board acts as sounding board, gives feedback and represents views of user communities (WP5).

The following table gives an overview of the work packages of the SIMORC project and the roles of the partners within these work packages.


Work package
Project Management
Project coordination
Liaison and rapporteur to EC
Coordination group member Coordination group member Coordination group member
Definitions, specifications, procedures
Definition Metadata format
System specifications
Import procedures
Definition of Data survey approach to industry members Definition Data format
QC standards & procedures
QC advisory support
Data gathering, QC, and Compilation of harmonized Metocean data sets and metadata
Metadata production of qualified data sets Gathering data sets and additional documentation of industry members Screening and QC of data sets and conversion to standard formats, incl QC doc’s  
Development of Internet database, retrieval and shopping/ ordering facilities
Development & testing of:
  • Internet Metadatabase and database system
  • User interfaces
  • Import / Export routines
  • Shopping / Ordering System Loading of metadata and related data sets
Evaluation and testing Support and advice Evaluation and testing
Promotion, Dissemination and Exploitation
Promotion & dissemination to industry + scientific communities Formulation of access protocol Establishment of exploitation agreement Promotion & dissemination to industry members Formulation of access protocol
Establishment of exploitation agreement
Promotion & dissemination to scientific communities
Formulation of access protocol
Establishment of exploitation agreement
Promotion & dissemination activities to scientific community and educational sectors
Formulation of access protocol


The SIMORC project is executed by the following partners:

Mariene Informatie Service “MARIS” BV (MARIS)
Internet: www.maris.nl
iogp_logo.jpg (2.8 K) International Association of Oil & Gas Producers (IOGP)
Internet: http://www.iogp.org
British Oceanographic Data Centre (BODC)
Internet: www.bodc.ac.uk
Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO (IOC-IODE)
Internet: ioc.unesco.org

Mariene Informatie Service “MARIS” BV (MARIS) (SIMORC coordinator) is expert in coordination of EU marine data management projects and in developing and operating internet metadata and data services, including versatile user interfaces, for users from marine science and industry sectors.

The International Association of Oil & Gas Producers (IOGP) will coordinate participation by major oil & gas companies, bringing in their considerable data sets. IOGP will also take care of regular feedback to the oil & gas industry about progress and long term perspective, and stimulating further participation of additional companies, collecting and managing metocean data sets

British Oceanographic Data Centre (NERC.BODC) is expert in quality assessment, quality control and processing of metocean data sets and has a wide network of contacts in major international oceanographic research projects.

The Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission – International Oceanographic Data and information Exchange (IOC; UNESCO) will bring in a global ocean and marine research network and qualified means for promoting and disseminating SIMORC on a global scale in ocean & marine scientific circles.

Advisory Board :

Furthermore the SIMORC project is joined by an Advisory Board, representing key user communities of the SIMORC service. These encompass representatives of:
  • EuroGOOS - European Association of Agencies to further the goals of the Global Ocean Observing System 
  • Eurogif - European oil and gas innovation forum
  • MFSTEP – Mediterranean Forecasting System Towards Environmental Predictions
  • EurOcean – European Centre for Information on Marine Science and Technology
  • MerSea project - Marine Environment and Security for the European Area
  • UK Met Office
  • NOCS - National Oceanography Centre, Southampton


This ensures tuning of the SIMORC service to the requirements of foreseen end-users and promotion and dissemination of the SIMORC services to their members.