‘Why we adopted standards for oil industry’

  • Sep 12, 2019
  • The Nation

The oil and gas industry demands and the need to keep up with best international practices in Nigeria has spurred the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) to adopt ten America Petroleum Institute (API) Standards for the country, writes EMEKA UGWUANYI.

The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has just adopted 10 standards from the America Petroleum Institute (API) to update and enhance operations in the oil and gas industry.

Its Director-General/Chief Executive, Osita Aboloma, disclosed this during a joint Technical Committee (TC) meeting on oil and gas/petroleum and petrochemicals convened in Lagos.

The DG, who was represented by the Director, Standards Development, Mrs. Chinyere Egwuonwu, said all the standards are critically relevant to operations in the oil and gas industry, hence the need to adopt them in collaboration with the stakeholders as Nigerian Industrial Standards (NIS).

According to him, adopting of international standards as national standard is not a new development, especially where the standards are elaborated by global leaders such as API who since 1919 has established a clout for convening subject matter experts in establishing, maintaining and distributing consensus standards for the oil and gas industry.

He said: “The API standards being adopted are recognised not only for their technical specifications but also for their third party accreditation which facilitates acceptance by international bodies and has been a cornerstone in developing standards for the worldwide oil and natural gas industry.”

However, Aboloma cautioned that “in adopting international standards we must ensure that the standards are not in conflict with our statutory regulatory requirements and special consideration should be on or environmental factors, economic considerations, security of products, national interest and most of all global best practices.”

He noted that the nation’s oil industry does not exist in isolation, therefore, the standards adopted will ensure the availability of the NIS, enhancing market competiveness, prevention of dumping of goods, promoting export and a reliable basis for technological transfer and industrial development.

The Joint Chairmen of the TCs, on Oil and Gas/Petroleum and Petrochemicals, Prof Joseph Ajienka, of the University of Port-Harcourt and Prof Sunday Ojolo of University of Lagos that stood in for Prof Boniface Okorie, of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN) respectively, in their varying capacities spoke separately during the meeting.

The two dons appreciated the Director-General of SON for giving them the opportunity to serve, while exhorting all the participants to carry out what was described as a call to national duty with zeal and ensuring their comments and contributions are vibrant and robust enough to achieve the purpose of the Technical Committee.

The API standards adopted and rechristened NIS include include API RP 50 2013 Natural Gas Processing Plant Practices for Protection of the Environment; API RP 520; 2014 Sizing, selection and Installation of Pressure-relieving devices in Refineries Part 1 Sizing and selection; API RP 520 2: 2015, Sizing, Selection and Installation of Pressure- Relieving Devices in Refineries Part II Installation; API 553: 2012 Refinery Valves and Accessories for Control and Safety Instrumented Systems; and API 554: 2007 Process Instrumentation and Control.

Others are API 12L: 2008 Specification for Vertical and Horizontal Emulsion Treaters; API 2000:2014 Venting Atmospheric and Low-Pressure Storage Tanks; API 12F:2008 Specifications for Shop-Welded Tanks for Storage of Production Liquids; API 12D: 2008 Specification for Field Welded Tanks for Storage of Production Liquids; and API STD 610: 2011 Centrifugal Pumps for Petroleum Petrochemical and Natural Gas Industries.

The Deputy Director Standards Development/Head Chemical-Tech, Mr Agboola Afolayan, moderated the proceedings while the Head Lagos 1 office/Group Head Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), Nwaoma Olujie, supported driving of the process, which culminated in the adoption of the API standards.

Stakeholders from the oil sector include representatives of Cakasa Nigeria Company Limited, Peachlite Engineering Consulting Services, Winelight Analytical Systems, Lopa Energy Limited, Addax Petroleum, Dorman Long Engineering, Mobil Producing Nigeria and agencies such as Nigeria Society of Chemical Engineers, Federal Institute of Industrial Research oshodi (FIIRO), which is under the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology, Nigeria Institute of Mechanical Engineering and the Nigerian Institute of Welders.