The IOGP-managed joint industry project (JIP33) on Standardization of Equipment Specifications for Procurement was initiated by operators and has the support of the World Economic Forum (WEF). The objective of the JIP is to prove the concept of industry-level standardization.
JIP33’s vision for the industry is to unlock significant value and drive a permanent reduction in project costs through use of industry-level, global technical specifications for procurement of bulk materials, packages, modules and potentially, even projects. With BP as the chair, JIP33 has 17 participating operators: BP, Chevron, Engie, Eni, ExxonMobil, Maersk, OMV, Pemex, PTTEP, Repsol, Saudi Aramco, Shell, Sonangol, Statoil, Total, Wintershall and Woodside.
In late 2015, the JIP appointed KBR as the independent engineering consultancy, responsible for project management and subject-matter expert services. Now, Sub-teams of subject matter experts from the operators, with input from suppliers, are progressing equipment specifications drafts for procurement.
Initially, JIP33 is working to standardise industry-wide specifications for procurement of three pilot types of equipment – ball valves, subsea xmas trees and low voltage switchgear.
In July, JIP33 published the first of its proposed specifications. Specification S-560 covers equipment related to low voltage switchgear. According to Justin Mason of BP (pictured), the JIP’s chair for the subteam of end-user technical experts, “This equipment is akin to an industrial scale-up of the electricity distribution board that we have in all our homes.
“Collaboratively, we’ve produced a significant piece of work,” Justin explains. “For this pilot project, we chose the piece of electrical equipment with the largest number of options and user permutations to validate the concept of working together as an industry body. After this, producing a specification for any other item of electrical equipment should require less effort. From the perspective of the IOGP Electrical Standards Sub-Committee, our Chair Martin Gillard of BG Group had worked independently on the harmonization of company requirements for this standard over the past year. What he did gave the JIP work on low voltage switchgear in January 2016 a head-start.”
Moving to what is called “a common comments and exceptions basis of standard’ provides a clear line of sight to the international standard and ‘a reduced margin for the manufacturer’s interpretation of technical and functional safety requirements of the integrated assembly,” Justin says. For larger IOGP members, there is a simplification of requirements along common themes. For smaller IOGP members, who may have relied on third parties for the technical definition of their requirements, “there is now clarity on minimum industry expectations, which fully embodies advances in integrated safety features.”
The JIP has done all of this ahead of target. “As of the start of July, we were at 75% plan versus an intended 70%,” Justin says.
JIP members are pleased with this progress. “Having participated so fully in terms of time, money and general engagement – often at unsocial hours for member companies based in Australia and the US – it is gratifying for all concerned to see such progress,” Justin says. “While the core of the team came from the IOGP Electrical Standards Sub-Committee, new members from other organizations have joined and bonded effectively into a coherent team at short notice, showing respect for the input and opinions of all members.”
More widely, the JIP has been sharing its achievements with related industry groups such as Oil & Gas UK. Justin reports that this collaboration has generated some very positive feedback, including interest to contribute technically to future procurement specification harmonization.
JIP members are also reaching out to relevant individuals and departments within their own organizations. Manufacturers’ reactions to progress in the JIP have also been positive. “The sharing of the JIP33 vision in the wider supply industry has also led to enquiries as to the future plans for additional equipment harmonization, as the simplification of practice gains traction,” Justin states.
Next to be considered is a proposal to agree harmonization of an industry supplement to the International Electrotechnical Commission standard for motors. “Clearly, should the proof of concept work for JIP 33 and additional funding be received in the next phase, then we would like to progress at scale across a broader range of equipment types, working in parallel,” Justin says.