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ISO develops action plan to fight oil spills

Posted on 19 July 2011

ISO has developed an action plan on International Standards to help the oil and gas industry combat oil spills by providing an inventory of relevant standards that are already available and by proposing a program for the development of new standards or improvement of existing ones. The plan draws from lessons learned from Macondo and Montara and covers drilling, well construction and well operations standards relevant to those two events.

The plan was developed by the ISO technical committee ISO/TC 67, materials, equipment and offshore structures for petroleum, petrochemical and natural gas industries. “As an international industry, the lessons learned from an accident in one country must be transferred globally. International Standards developed by ISO/TC 67 are one way of achieving this,” Niel Reeve, chairman of ISO/TC 67, said.

The inventory includes 71 existing standards and related documents available from ISO or other organizations, particularly the American Petroleum Institute (API). The program proposes 31 standards or other related documents for development or update by ISO, the API or other organizations.

ISO/TC 67 also underlined the importance of implementing the standards, stating, “Developing and maintaining consensus-based International Standards is only the first step. These remain only as paper and electronic documents, until implemented in or by a particular country project or user.”

Hundreds of experts from 30 countries participate in the work of ISO/TC 67, with another 30 countries as observers. Currently, the TC’s portfolio comprises 150 new or updated standards. They are not only being increasingly adopted by regional or national standards bodies in North and South America, China, Europe, the Gulf States, Kazakhstan and Russia but also increasingly referenced in national regulations.

For more information on the work of TC 67, visit their website.

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