The Oil and Gas Archives

person By Eivind Skarung and Janet Birkedal Martin
The Regional State Archives in Stavanger (RSAS) are responsible for preserving and providing access to records from the whole Norwegian oil and gas industry.
— The portal to the Norwegian Petroleum Archive on the National Archives's website.
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That responsibility extends beyond the actual operator companies to embrace the supplies industry, the union movement, government agencies and key individuals in this sector.
The RSAS is charged with safeguarding relevant sources and thereby laying a basis for research activities, not only today but also in the centuries to come.
It forms part of the National Archives of Norway, where all state agencies are duty-bound to deposits their records. The RSAS is responsible for those from Rogaland. It also holds important private archives from this county.
The RSAS has some 16 000 shelf-metres of archival material from the 16th century to the present day, of which 3 500 shelf-metres derive from petroleum-related activities.
Oil companies such as Statoil, ExxonMobil, ConocoPhillips, Norske Shell, Total Norge and Eni Norge have deposited records with the RSAS.
So have shipbuilding group Moss Rosenberg Verft (MRV), oil transport specialist Teekay (including Navion), oil base operator NorSeaGroup, the Industry Energy union and the Norwegian Oil and Gas Association (formerly the Norwegian Oil Industry Association – OLF).

Role in the Statfjord cultural heritage project

The RSAS has received some 200 shelf-metres of Statfjord-related records, which have been repackaged and prepared for long-term storage.
These records have also been registered in the National Archives’ database and made available on the website. Registration makes material searchable and simplifies public access to their content.
These records are not open to the public in the first instance. Such access is determined by the archive owner after a written request. Over time, however, all records collected are made public.

Where to find more information on Statfjord

Archival materials on and from Statfjord can be found at a number of different record generators, including both public and private sources. Information from these provides a fuller picture of the field’s development and its role in society.
Among public sources, archives at the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD), the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) and the police contain relevant material related to their duties.
The NPD is the resource regulator for the Norwegian petroleum sector, while the PSA was established in 2004 to serve as the health, safety and environmental (HSE) regulator. It has yet to deposit any records with the RSAS.
For its part, the Stavanger police force is responsible for investigating accidents on the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS).

Archives from the Stavanger police force and the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate .

Among private sources, Statoil as operator for Statfjord has deposited the largest volume of records. These include much material dealing with the field.
Statfjord turns up in many of the series into which the company’s records are divided, but the one specifically devoted to the field naturally contains the largest volume.
Statoil has deposited its whole historical Statfjord archive of roughly 61 shelf-metres with the RSAS, and this contains a great deal of different material.
That includes reports on such issues as platform design, technical solutions, various development and operational matters, assessments of bids and environmental questions.
A number of drawings, tenders, agreements and contracts have been preserved, along with many case documents and correspondence related to the operation and further development of Statfjord.
When Statoil took over as operator in 1987, all relevant records relating to the field were transferred to it by predecessor Mobil Exploration Norway Ltd (Meni).
What happened to these materials after Statoil acquired them is uncertain. They have probably been spread between the company departments which required them.
Some of the records created during Meni’s operatorship have been preserved in the historical Statfjord archive at Statoil.

The Statoil archive .

Published January 2, 2019   •   Updated March 20, 2020
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