Disaster Planning: Essential in the Oil & Gas Industry

By: In: Energy On: Nov 24, 2014

Many factors contribute to making disaster an ever-present threat to companies in the oil and gas industry. Often, terrain and environment present heightened risks, as do the specialized equipment and the nature of the product itself – hydrocarbons. Regardless of the cause,  disasters happen and must be properly planned for. Energy information governance (IG) professionals should participate in planning for a disaster and reviewing disaster plans to ensure that they meet with company needs and regulatory requirements. Disaster plans are living documents that must adapt to changing technology, operational mandates, and the law. Organizations that have multiple oil and gas facilities in very different environments require nuanced disaster plans, while pipelines, offshore platforms and land-based oil wells each require different disaster compliance protection and reporting activities.

Energy IG managers should play a large role in planning for a disaster and creating regular review processes. Certainly, the IG manager needs to have input into the design of the plan to ensure any compliance issues are met and that needed information is made readily available while vital records are protected. The IG professional may also play a valuable role in the audit and review process.

Disaster plans can become stale or out of sync with needs. Operation site managers are primarily responsible for a local disaster plan, disaster management and, to some degree, disaster recovery, but IG professionals may have a more critical role during the development and review process than originally anticipated.

Keeping up with your organization’s disaster plans for the information and records associated with each pipeline, well and platform requires constant oversight and management. Disasters in the energy industry have cost billions of dollars for recovery and loss of life. A solid IG program with engagement from those professionals in disaster planning and preparedness reduces risk and protects shareholder value.

  • 2013 | 2014 Information Governance Benchmarking Survey for the Oil and Gas Industry

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About the author

Vickie Malis

Vickie is a Director of Product and Solutions Marketing, focused on Document Management Solutions and is the marketing lead for Life Sciences industry solutions. She has held senior B2B marketing positions in technology and business services at companies that include Kodak, Dragon Systems (Nuance Communications) and eCopy (Nuance Communications). Vickie brings to her marketing career many years of experience in healthcare, in both advanced nursing practice and administration in trauma, critical care and neurosurgery. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Indiana University, a Master of Science degree from the University of Cincinnati and an MBA from Columbia University.