The paper addresses the ISO/DIS 13623 pipeline standard for the petroleum and natural gas industries presently circulating as a Draft International Standard (DIS) for voting. An important step is taken by the international pipeline community through this initiative to establish a truly international pipeline standard. A historical outlook is given as an introduction to the subject emphasizing the important role played to date by the ANSI/ASME B 31.4 and B 31.8 codes. The scope as well as the safety philosophy, the applied design format and the level of detail of the draft ISO standard is addressed. The important design requirement for pressure containment and the related requirement for pressure testing of offshore pipelines are discussed in some detail and some comments are given. The further strength and stability requirements of the ISO/DIS standard are considered briefly. This recently issued NORSOK/DNV 1996 Pipeline Rules for submarine pipelines is reviewed, emphasizing its relation to the ISO/DIS pipeline standard. Basic features such as its scope, the underlying safety philosophy, the derived design factors and the applied LRFD design format are pointed out. The associated DNV Design Guidelines or Recommended Practices on essential offshore pipeline design issues are also highlighted. The paper concludes by expressing the view that the ISO pipeline standard, once finalised and implemented and practiced as stated in the DNV96 Rules, opens for a considerable progress for the entire offshore pipeline industry.


The development of pipeline standards started in the US in the 1930's with the issue of the first B 31 code. Pipelines at that time were exclusively onshore pipelines. Later updating has resulted in a separation into a number of codes, in particular B31.4 for transportation of hydrocarbon liquids and B31.8 for transportation of natural gas. Amendments to cover offshore pipelines have been developed and issued.

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