GSO TC 7 Held in Qatar

GSO TC 7 Held in Qatar

14th Meeting and Workshop of the Gulf Standards Technical Committee for the Oil & Gas Industry in GCC Countries (GSO TC 7) was held last week in Doha with the participation of the major industry stakeholders and oil & gas operators in Qatar, and members of the said committee.

More than 70 experts and representatives from Qatar and other GCC countries attended the meeting and workshop. The event, which was held on November 5-7 at the Four Seasons Hotel, was organized and hosted by Qatar Petroleum‘s HSE Regulations and Enforcement Directorate. The workshop was also attended by the Ministry of Environment – Department of Standardization and Laboratories, the Gulf Standardization Organization (GSO), and the European Standards Technical Committee for Materials, Equipment and Offshore Structures (CEN TC 12).

Mr. Saif S Al-Naimi, Director of QP’s HSE Regulations and Enforcement Directorate, chaired the workshop and his address focused on the essential issues related to the adoption of standards and regulations, as well as their development and compliance within the oil and gas sector. His speech was followed by an overview of the GSO TC 7 activities and achievements, which were presented by the Committee Secretary Dr. Muayad Ajjawi, Head of Regulations & Standards Development at QP.

Mr. Nawaf Al Mana, Director of the Standards and Metrology Department of the Ministry of Environment (Qatar Standards), then presented a comprehensive overview of the development and application of standards and technical regulations, and the agreements with the international standards organization in the State of Qatar.

Mr. Gilles Trican, Chairman of the European CEN TC 12, discussed the importance of international standards and regional regulations from the European perspective and he lauded the excellent progress made by the ISO TC67 WG11, which is chaired by the State of Qatar. He also gave an overview of the standards development process in CEN TC 12 and the process of harmonizing the CEN standards with European regulations, specifically with regards to the safety of offshore structures. He also explained the progress on International standards development and the current efforts by the International Association of Oil and Gas Producers (OGP) and the American Petroleum Institute (API) to have one set of global standards.

The second part (Q &A session) of the workshop, which was mediated by Mr. Al-Naimi, discussed the importance of unifying the standards and technical regulations for the oil and gas industry in the Gulf region and the proper way to engage the regulators in standards development and the standards developers in regulation development, thus achieving the objective of having good standards for regulators to use.

The workshop concluded with a recommendation to boost efforts for developing standards and technical regulations for the petroleum industry to satisfy the region’s specific regulatory requirements. Another recommendation was to have unified standards with emphasis on having one global standard for the use of the petroleum and natural gas industry worldwide for the benefit of stakeholders and operators in this vital industry.

The workshop has achieved its goals to broaden awareness and understanding of standardization activities, the development and use of standards and technical regulations in the oil and gas sector, and the difference their implementation. The workshop also effectively highlighted the importance of strengthening the collaboration between oil and gas companies and standardization organizations locally and regionally and internationally. It was the first time that a standards workshop had been held in a Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) country.

The GSO TC 7/SCs/WGs meetings were held on 6th and 7th of November, with participation of all GCC countries, namely, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, U.A.E and Oman. The representation in the meetings was mainly from oil and gas companies, the government sector and standardization authorities in GCC countries. The SCs/WGs meetings were held on November 5, just before the main committee (TC7) meeting.

The GSO TC 7 meeting was chaired by Mr. Saif Al Naimi, Chairman of GSO TC 7 and Director of the HSE Regulations and Enforcement Directorate, and was managed by Dr. Muayad Ajjawi, Committee Secretary.

The meeting was attended by around 35 delegates from Qatar and other GCC countries. The meeting discussed the standardization activities in GCC countries and the challenges facing the development of standards and technical regulations in the Gulf region. The meeting also discussed the reports, plans, work programs, difficulties and the new standards proposals presented by various subcommittees and working groups under the scope of GSO TC 7.

The meeting was concluded with a main focus to establish a new system and structure for developing/updating the standards and technical regulations for the petroleum and natural gas industry in GCC countries, based on the latest international standards, latest technology and the region’s specific requirements.

During the meeting, the committee members have agreed to send 42 standards and one technical regulation, developed and reviewed by GSO TC 7, for GSO Technical Council endorsement as Gulf Standards for implementation in the oil and gas industry in GCC countries.

The GSO TC 7 main committee meeting ended with the closing remarks of the Committee Chairman Mr. Saif Al Naimi, who thanked all the members for their valued contribution and encouraged them to increase their efforts to fulfill the objectives of the committee for the benefit of the Gulf region.

LNG World News Staff, November 14, 2012; Image: Qatar Petroleum