A single global market for procurement is of crucial importance to the E&P industry. The resulting benefits, including cost reductions and shelter delivery times, could even be the key to the economic development of marginal fields. International Standards that cater for the needs of users, manufacturers and the public at large can provide a common basis for companies to procure and provide goods and services that will deliver the required performance throughout the field life. The savings to industry could be billions of dollars per year.

The Oil Industry International Exploration and Production Forum (E&P Forum) and the American Petroleum Institute (API) acted as the catalyst for the re-formation of ISO TCG7 "Materials, equipment and offshore structures for petroleum and natural gas industries". The initial work was on the development of "fast track" ISO standards based on the widely accepted and used API standards. In the five years of conceited effort by the E&P industry 17 fast track standards have been published and a further 10 ISO standards have reached or passed the balloting stage and are about to be published. This process has also resulted in the development of a management procedure for the selection, processing and maintenance of standards for the E&P industry.

The E&P Forum, on behalf of the industry, has developed proposals to increase the efficiency of this managerial procedure and to speed up the "internationalization" of selected standl.1rds. Details are given at the end of the paper.

It is argued that the E&P industry should rally to the cause of international standardization. Companies should lend their full Support by committing their valuable expel resources. It is in the interests of the industry to do this for, without suitably skilled expel representation in ISO and the elimination of duplication as well as waste of resources through perfom1ing similar workat company or national level, the large potential benefits of international standardization will elude the E&P industry.

The overall thrust may be neatly summarized by the adage:

  • do it once

  • do it right

  • do it globally


The E&P Forum has taken a leading role in encouraging and facilitating the internationalization of oil and gas industries standards in the area of upstream exploration and production. The need for standards became evidet1t to the expanding industry in the early 1920's. In the United States, the manufacturing industry began supplying oil field equipment not only for local developments but across the continent. The requirement for equipment to be safe and compatible was essential for obvious reasons. The need to be fit for purpose followed swiftly as production facilities became more sophisticated and fields with higher and higher pressures were developed. The American Petroleum Institute was formed, and in 1923 adopted the remit to provide the industry with standards for manufacturers equipment for use throughout the USA. At the same time, oil field development was expanding rapidly in other parts of the world, driven largely by American based companies who, naturally enough, purchased equipment from home sources according to API standards.

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