In 1981, the Geological Survey of Canada’s Atlantic Geoscience Centre embarked upon the development of a database that would contain all available information on exploration wells drilled in offshore eastern Canada. The aim was to load all biostratigraphic, lithologic, geochemical, well log, geographical, and engineering data that were either commercially available or had been produced by the Survey. The work was initially carried out by five summer students who had been tasked with making the database work.
In 1982, Paul Lake became data manager, a position he still holds. A major acquisition in the 1980s was the purchase of digitized logs for many of the wells. In 1990, the original database management package (SYSTEM 2000) was replaced with Oracle. Shortly after this key upgrade, the database was renamed BASIN.
Interest from other government organizations, universities, and oil companies led to the decision in 1996 to make most of the database available through the then-new medium, the World Wide Web. The database now contains information on close to 1000 offshore wells on the Scotian Margin, the Grand Banks, and in the Canadian Arctic. The Survey’s goal for BASIN is that it will one day include all Canadian wells.