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IOGP - standardising operations to decarbonise

Friday, September 3, 2021

The International Association of Oil and Gas Producers (IOGP) has a number of projects to standardise oil and gas operations between the majors to help decarbonise.

'About a year ago [The International Association of Oil and Gas Producers] were challenged by the heads of engineering of the top 12 operating companies in the world, asking what we can do to collaborate to progress our collective net zero ambitions,' said Richard Mortimer, chairman of the International Association of Oil and Gas Producers (IOGP) standards committee.

Mr Mortimer's main job is VP engineering with BP global products organisation. He was speaking at the Emerson Users Exchange meeting online on March 29-31.

There are a number of organisations working on environment related projects, such as the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative (OGCI) and IPIECA, (originally the International Petroleum Industry Environmental Conservation Association). But they are not focussing so much on operations engineering aspects, he said.

One of IOGP's working groups is looking at a new standard for methane measurement.

'We're looking at more and more use of drones, aeroplanes, satellites to monitor GHG emissions, how we reconcile those top down measurement techniques. We're working together to understand what best practise is. We're looking to pool the knowledge and understanding to see if we can find any breakthroughs.'

There are working groups on flaring. 'We are very inconsistent with our design and use of flare gas recovery systems. They are often a bit of an add on in many companies. The reliability is not as it should be.'

An IOGP Joint Industry Project called 'JIP 33' is looking at how to harmonise and standardise how the operating companies procure equipment for projects.

It is common today for oil majors to give suppliers a list of their own requirements for common products such as pumps, which go on top of standard industry requirements, set by organisations such as the American Petroleum Institute (API). This creates a lot more cost for suppliers, which is passed onto operators, while not adding any more value.

'Operators got together and said 'this is insane, we're not adding any value by these company specific requirements,'' Mr Mortimer said.

JIP 33 has its own website, at where you can learn about the work of the 20 working groups.

The project is supported, including with financial resources, by 12 operators - BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, ENI, Equinor, ExxonMobil, Petrobras, Petronas, Saudi Aramco, Shell, Total and Woodside.

Altogether, the oil and gas industry is 'dramatically aligning on a net zero agenda,' he said. 'You can see it in a whole range of different ways.'


At BP, 'we absolutely need to adapt and adopt digital technologies quickly,' he said, in part to meet the challenge of transforming from a traditional hydrocarbon industry into one where 'new energy' plays a much bigger role.

And since BP has set its goal to transform its company with fast adoption of digital technology, 'it's more and more important to stay connected with the supply chain of those digital technologies,' he said.

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