International standards

standards_image.JPG

The oil & gas industry uses international standards to enhance technical integrity, improve safety, and reduce the environmental impact of operations worldwide.  The work of OGP’s Standards Committee in promoting the development and use of international standards is crucial, not the least following recent well incidents. More than ever, operators, contractors and drilling companies alike are aware of the need for comprehensive sets of standards that provide greater consistency of safe practices worldwide.

The existence and application of such standards is equally important for national regulators who have a significant role to play in the process of standards development. For example, this could include the selection of topics for standardisation, the development of new standards and the use of completed standards as part of the regulatory landscape.

Working together for improved standards

The International Regulators’ Forum (IRF) is the principal international regulatory forum for offshore safety. This network encompasses highly-experienced offshore safety regulators from the USA, Canada, the UK, Norway, the Netherlands, Brazil, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico and Denmark.

The IRF has recently become more involved in the process of standards development and promotion. Following the IRF’s Summit Conference in Stavanger in 2011, members voted their support for the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) standards system – and International and Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) for electrical issues – as the best ways to achieve globally agreed offshore standards. At the same time, the IRF acknowledged the crucial role that relevant national and regional standards would continue to play when equivalent ISO or IEC are not yet available.