On Monday, 25th May 2015, The Nigerian Institution of Mechanical Engineering through under the leadership of Engr Prof. Ademola Adisa Bello organized her first Stakeholder forum on Codes and Standards in Oil and Gas, in Lagos.
Despite the unforeseen fuel crisis in Country that almost mars the event, various distinguished participants graced the event. Leading the presentations were Engr. (Mrs.) Olujie Nwaoma, Head Mechanical Division, Standards Organization of Nigeria, SON and Engr. Seun Faluyi, M.D. Offshore Dimensions Limited.
Concerned by the lack of activities by indigenous engineers on the subject, and as part of the directive of the Nigerian Society of Engineers, the Nigerian Institution of Mechanical Engineers organised the event which was sponsored by Offshore Dimensions Limited, to look into the Codes and Standards in Oil and Gas sector.
To come up with a template for Codes and Standards for Mechanical Engineers in oil and gas industry.
Pioneer participant companies/organizations
- Chevron Nigeria Limited,
- DeltaAfrik Engineering Limited
- Petroleum Technology Association of Nigeria, PETAN,
- Standards Organisation of Nigeria, SON and
- Yinka Falawiyo Petroleum Company Limited
- Offshore Dimensions Limited
- Richardson Oil and Gas Limited
The National Chairman, Engr Prof. Ademola Adisa Bello, FNSE, was represented by immediate Past National Chairman, Engr. Ayo Fanimokun FNSE
He highlighted that NIMechE has a major role to play in oil and gas industry and now ready to take up the challenge in the industry.
Presentations were made by Engr. (Mrs) Olujie and Engr. Seun Faluyi. This was followed by working session where all the participants were involved in the process formulation and charting a course for the Codes and Standards in Oil and Gas sector.
- Nigeria has no indigenous (homemade) Codes and Standards in Engineering
- Many companies operating in Nigeria want to impose their home countries’ standards; obsolete standards; and also most Nigerians Engineers are trained abroad do follow the same trend by adopting the Standards that exit at the country where they studied.
- The result from the (2) above is that the industry is flooded with Codes and Standards and no attempt at unification
- Lack of codes and standards is a technical barrier to trade in Nigeria. Efforts had been made in previous times to put up and to ensure harmonized codes and standards for Nigerian use. One of the major challenges has been the issue of harmonizing standards. Individual professionals and owners of standards do not want to release theirs for SON to document. Also, enforcement is another challenge in Nigeria.
- Standard is a consensus act. There has to be a majority representation for a standard to be accepted.
- Stakeholders must jointly participate in the process to enhance efficient outcome.
- Some of the challenges of SON are: issue of inadequacy to impose use of standards, harmonizing of standards, inadequate supporting data.
- One of the challenges with IOCs is that companies usually come up with different design basis for projects, and this consumes project man hours. Hence, there is a need for unified standards to ensure ease of use.
Positions and Recommendations
The Participants came to agreement as highlighted below:
- The Forum should be repeated but expanded to include other regulatory agencies and stakeholders in the Oil and Gas sector invited.
- There is need for a wider consultation of other stakeholders before the process can be successful. That is, the likes of DPR, NCDMB, NETCO and others. All these bodies need major representations in the process for it to be acknowledged.
- Also emphasised, is the importance of the participation of PETAN in the process. PETAN is a body of professionals who are well informed about technologies updates in the industry and at such they have key contributions to make.
- Standards Organisation of Nigerian, SON will provide a benchmark for IOCs operating in Nigeria and a model for indigenous NOCs to build on.
- Nigerians wants a sense of ownership. We need Codes and Standards that are made by Nigerians for use in Nigeria.
- The Nigerian Society of Engineers, NSE also must play its coordinating role in the process.
- It was also noted that: “Adapting” of standards is an ongoing practice in the industry while “adopting” of standards is a rather cumbersome one that involves much effort. It was agreed that at this stage we should focus more on “adapting” more standards to meet the needs in the industry.
- The Codes and Standards will allow for proper regulation, monitoring, supervision and certification of materials and systems.
- Having Nigerian Codes and Standards would enhance industrialization of Nigeria.
- There is a need to stay focused in order to have a successful process. In this view, it was agreed that every stage of the process should have objectives. The agreed objective was:
To establish minimum technical requirements for mechanical engineering practice applicable in upstream and downstream oil and gas industry in Nigeria.
Reasons for establishing the Objectives
- To prevent unplanned loss of integrity.
- To enhance operable, reliable equipment and system performance over the total asset life.
- To encourage increased competence of professionals in the Nigerian oil and gas industry to ultimately lower project cost.
- To reduce operating cost, through standards that are practical and fit for purpose and use.
Oil and Gas sector is a highly regulated and specialised sector with many Codes and Standards in the practice. Developing, adapting or creating new Codes and Standards for Nigeria would take awhile and also require wide consultation among the practitioners and regulators in the industry. Given the technical nature of the sector, therefore, the NIMechE would be taking step by step in its activities in this regard and carry other stakeholders along.
In view of the reality of time and human resources that would be required to compile, consult and also arrive at decisions, NIMechE is urging strong support of the IOCs and NOCs in allowing their skilled staff be part of the exercises.
The NSE is and COREN would be needed to provide moral and logistic backing to ensure that the process produces conclusive ending.
Reporting… Isqil Najim