Oil and Gas Records Management: Best Practices

Oil & gas records management blog post image - oil drilling in background

Last Updated on February 12, 2024 Sarah Gayda

Tips we’ve gleaned from working with 3 of the top 5 oil and gas corporations in the world 

As an IT professional or records manager in the energy industry, you’re well aware of how complex managing data and documents in this sector can be. With strict regulatory frameworks to adhere to and vast amounts of data to manage, your role is crucial.  

One area where you can have an immense impact is records management. This practice ensures all necessary records are adequately maintained, promptly available when required, and disposed of appropriately.  

In this blog post, we’ll guide you through the best practices for records management in the oil and gas industry. 

Understanding records management 

Records management involves the systematic control of records from their creation or receipt through their processing, distribution, organization, storage, and retrieval to their ultimate disposition. In your world, these records could be contracts, permits, operational data, safety documents, or environmental impact assessments, among others 

The importance of records management in your industry 

Effective records management in the oil and gas industry is essential for several reasons: 

  • Regulatory Compliance: Your sector is heavily regulated. Failure to comply with laws and regulations can lead to severe penalties and damage to your company’s reputation. 
  • Operational Efficiency: Proper records management ensures that your colleagues can quickly find and use needed records, enhancing efficiency and productivity. 
  • Risk Management: It helps identify, assess, and manage potential risks, including those related to legal liabilities, business continuity, and information security. 

Best practices for records management 

Many federal government agencies, including the US Department of Energy, publish details of their records management programs. You can use them as benchmarks or guidelines when establishing your own program, especially given their mandate to transition to electronic records.  

At a high level, here are some best practices for effective records management in your oil and gas company: 

1. Develop a records management policy

Start with a policy. Creating a comprehensive policy serves as a blueprint for how to handle records throughout their lifecycle. It should define what constitutes a record, outline the responsibilities of employees, and detail procedures for record retention, access, protection, and disposal. 

2. Implement a classification system

To easily locate and retrieve records, you should implement a classification system. This could be based on the record type, its content, or the business process it supports. 

3. Use a centralized storage system

Centralized storage simplifies recordkeeping by providing a single source of truth. It reduces duplication and makes it easier to manage and retrieve records. For digital records, we highly recommend SharePoint Online and Microsoft 365, a secure cloud-based system. 

4. Regular audits and training

Regular audits help ensure that your records management practices comply with internal policies and external regulations. Additionally, regular training sessions can ensure that all employees understand their roles and responsibilities regarding records management. 

5. Plan for disaster recovery

Having a plan in place for disaster recovery is crucial. Specifically, this could involve backing up digital records, storing physical records off-site, or using a cloud-based system that automatically backs up data. Again, we recommend using Microsoft 365. 

6. Securely dispose of records

Once records reach the end of their lifecycle, they should be securely disposed of. This could mean shredding physical documents or permanently deleting digital files. 

How Colligo solutions can help 

In the complex world of records management in the energy industry, having a reliable and efficient system is paramount. This is where Colligo steps in. Above all, our solutions are designed to simplify record management, ensuring your organization stays compliant, reduces risks, and enhances operational efficiency. 

Our Email Manager for Microsoft 365, for instance, enables your company to effectively capture and classify email records directly from Outlook. Further, you can effortlessly file emails and attachments into SharePoint without leaving your inbox. This ensures all email records are stored in a centralized repository, making them easy to retrieve and manage. 

Furthermore, Colligo’s Content Manager for Microsoft 365 provides a secure, cloud-based platform for managing all types of records. It allows for seamless collaboration among team members while ensuring that sensitive information is protected. Features like metadata-driven navigation, intelligent bookmarking, and offline synchronization make managing your records easier than ever. Oil and gas document management becomes much easier with Colligo.

Lastly, our mobile solution for oil and gas field workers, allows offline teams to access important information quickly. Briefcase also lets remote workers sync data to SharePoint when they are back online.  

By integrating Colligo solutions into your records management strategy, you’re not just adopting a tool; you’re embracing a more efficient, compliant, and risk-free way of managing records in your industry. 

Trusted by over 25 energy companies 

In the oil and gas industry, where regulatory compliance and risk management are paramount, effective records management is not an option but a necessity. By following the best practices outlined above and implementing robust solutions like those offered by Colligo, you can enhance efficiency, improve compliance, and reduce risks.  

Remember, good information management is a continuous process that requires ongoing attention and refinement. Together, let’s make records management a streamlined process in your organization. 

Find out why over 25 service and energy utility companies—and 3 of the top 5 oil and gas corporations in the world—use Colligo software today. Get in touch with us today and let’s get started. 


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