How To Structure You Records

Oil and gas companies produce and collect lot of information Equinor, for example, have approximately 40 petabytes(!) of data. If that information was printed out, it would fill up 800 million four drawer filing cabinets! That is unbelievable amounts of data.

Even for smaller oil companies, the amount of data and information can become overwhelming.

That is why you need to have a good plan, and a systematic structure of all the information. What should you keep, and how? Who should have access? Etc.

Not all documents are equally important.

For oil companies, one very important type of documents is known as Records. And the list of all the Records types can be long, and difficult to have complete the overview of.

When we have worked with companies to help structuring their records, we always recommend doing a workshop to develop the structure together with all the relevant departements – finance, legal, operation, HR etc.


A common records structure can include

  • Business Unit
  • Function
  • Department / function
  • Document group
  • Record type
  • Owner
  • Retention
  • Retention event
  • System
  • Security
  • Paper copy required
  • Storage location
  • Description

These items in a records list will vary from company to company, but we believe that all these basic elements should be on your records list. 

Read our in-depth article on Records Management for oIl & gas companies here.

Download an excel template / example of a records list:

Download template
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