ISO/TS 29001 for Oil and Natural Gas Industries

A successful partnership between ISO and the international oil and natural gas industry has resulted in the publication of a new technical specification for implementing ISO 9001-based quality management systems.

ISO/TS 29001:2003, Petroleum, Petrochemical, and Natural Gas Industries: Sector-Specific Quality Management Systems – Requirements for Product and Service Supply Organizations, is expected to become the common and unique basis for the industry’s quality management system requirements worldwide, thereby helping to avoid multiple systems that would, if each needs to be certified, require multiple audits.

These industries handle hazardous fluids and gases through a variety of processes. Considerations for the safety of personnel (both staff and public), of the protection of the environment, and of business continuity (maintenance of revenue streams, both for companies and for national economies) require a high level of operational integrity. A key element in the assurance of appropriate products being supplied is the quality management system operated by the goods supplier and service contractor. The experience of previous editions of API Q1 has proven that requirements additional to ISO 9001:2000 are necessary to provide assurance with respect to quality of products and services on a consistent and global basis.

The new document was the result of a collaboration between the American Petroleum Institute (API) and ISO technical committee ISO/TC 67, Materials, equipment and offshore structures for petroleum, petrochemical and natural gas industries.

According to John Modine, Director of API Certification Programs, ISO/TS 29001 is expected to result in “increased international acceptance of time-tested sector-specific quality system requirements on a broad scale for the worldwide oil and gas industry.” He defines it as: “one industry – one standard.”

“We knew that API Q1 (6th Edition) contained extremely valuable quality system requirements for the oil and gas industry – and we wanted to help disseminate those sector-specific quality requirements to the international oil and gas industry. We concluded that the best way to do that would be to draft the next version of API Q1 (7th Edition) with a joint API/ISO committee with the final result being a joint publication of API Q1 and ISO/TS 29001. The ultimate goal is to obtain worldwide acceptance and use of the standard.”

The new technical specification aims at the development of a quality management system that provides for continual improvement, emphasizing defect prevention and the reduction of variation and waste in the supply chain and from service providers.

Incorporating the requirements of ISO 9001:2000, ISO/TS 29001:2003 also includes detailed, sector-specific requirements for design, development, production, installation and service of products. To assist the user, the requirements of ISO 9001:2000 are given in boxed text, followed by specific guidance and supplementary requirements for its implementation within the industry. Although some of the supplementary requirements may be viewed as not specific to this industry, they are needed in TS 29001 in order to ensure that the requirement(s) are explicit and can be audited.

ISO/TS 29001 is available for use by manufacturers of oil industry equipment and materials (upstream and downstream), service providers to the oil and gas industry, purchasers of equipment, materials and services, and organizations who could use the standard for assessments and certification.