Towards the end of 2016 I was sitting in on a discussion about valves in the offshore sector, and in particular the need for further standardisation. All the end users and manufacturers present were in general agreement that clearer, more unified standards would really benefit the industry as a whole, especially given the lamentable oil prices.
Well, it seems as if their wishes may be coming true, for the International Association of Oil & Gas Producers (IOGP) has just released Specification S-562, entitled “Supplementary Requirements to API Spec 6D Ball Valves”.
I have just taken a quick look at this 98 page document which without a shadow of a doubt contains a wealth of relevant information. I’m not an engineer, but this is one document I’m planning to take home to read more closely.
However, one specific item of text that immediately caught my eye was the foreword, on page 5. It reads and I quote:
“This Specification was prepared by a Joint Industry Project 33 Standardization of Equipment Specifications for Procurement organized by IOGP with support by the World Economic Forum (WEF). Seventeen key members from WEF and IOGP membership participated in JIP33 with an effort to leverage and improve industry level standardization. The scope of work has been to harmonize procurement specifications from the seventeen participating Members and develop one agreed and jointly approved Specification building on recognized industry and/or international standards. This is one of the initial Specifications to prove this concept."
I’m sure the gentlemen I was speaking to earlier would applaud the intentions of the WEF and IOGP participants in this respect, and would align themselves fully with the hopes expressed for the actual implementation of S-562 in the remainder of the foreword:
Following agreement of the relevant JIP33 sub-team and approval by the JIP33 Steering Committee, the IOGP Management Committee has agreed to the publication of this Specification by IOGP. The next step is for the individual operating companies to evaluate this Specification and consider whether to replace their own Specification with this joint Specification and thereby achieve real standardization across the oil and gas industry for the subject at hand. This applies to the participating companies and hopefully many more WEF and IOGP Members.
And therein lies the nub…. to what degree will the operating companies be willing to set aside their “tried and trusted” internal standards, many of which incorporate the results of many years or even decades of unique field experiences?
This is something I plan on asking end users soon, so please watch this space for details. And of course, if you have any views or insights, I’d be delighted to hear from you and can be contacted via firstname.lastname@example.org.