ISO 29001 is the Management System Standard Oil and Gas Has Been Yearning For

As the leading authority globally for publishing standards, the publication of ISO 29001 represents yet another big moment for an industry. For oil and gas organisations, there are several challenges in the form of supply chains and operations, not least in the current economic climate and the onset of a global pandemic. Luckily for the petroleum industry, the International Organization for Standards (ISO), have not stopped working on ISO 29001; the flagship management standard for oil and gas organisations.

ISO 29001, the newest standard for oil and gas organisations outlines the quality management system requirements in the form of products and service supply for all actors and stakeholders in the field. The petroleum, petrochemical and natural gas industries can now all benefit from management leadership in the form of the ISO 29001 standard, which is ready to be implemented by any organisation operating with a management system standard (MSS). ISO 29001 has been designed to work well together with another of the ISO staples; ISO 9001, one that is likely familiar with many oil and gas businesses already. Replacing the previous technical specification ISO/TS 29001, ISO 29001 is a game changer in the way it can work together with other standards to create safe and smart best business practice. Ted Fletcher, Convenor of the Working Group for ISO 29001 claim that ISO 29001 builds on previous standard bases, through defining additional requirements to promote standardising of quality requirements with supporting guidance. Jarno Dakhorst, the group Secretary notes that the underlying principles of ISO 29001 are rooted in the increased focus on risk management and performance objectives by many businesses, which provided a necessary platform and reasoning for ISO 29001 to be developed.

As most of the oil and gas organisations are operating in hazardous environments, it is important that new standards such as ISO 29001 continue to be developed to set the tone for effective management practices. The increased publication of oil and gas standards through digital means is testament to the increased use of mobile devices in the inspection of oil and gas processes and operations in organisations in the field. Many are choosing to use intrinsically safe (IS) devices in the form of mobile devices or tablets to carry out site audit, pre-start checks, asset maintenance, collecting data in the field, operator rounds and general safety inspections. With ISO 29001, these paperless inspection solutions just got another weapon in their stacked arsenal of tools. Already many inspection officials are using ISO standards such as ISO 9001 or ISO 45001 to comply and inspect the safety or risk of operations before commencement or just on a regular daily basis. ISO 29001 now provides such personnel with another avenue to report data and conform to the industry standards.

What is required for ISO 29001 to work at its optimum, is the integration of paperless solutions with a powerful and adaptable computerised maintenance management system (CMMS). Such solutions can take already existing processes and manage the scheduling and data collection/analysis of the inspections and maintenance activities. With integration of any standard such as ISO 9001, 45001 or ISO 29001, paperless CMMS can keep an organisation up to date and in line with industry standards. With all the reporting data being centralised in one location, information can be shared in real time with all necessary teams and stakeholders, and accessed at any time from any location through secure web-portal logins. With many oil and gas organisations working across time zones, this is vital in the data sharing age. As well as a host of integrated reporting benefits for users such as taking images and annotation on reports, speech-to-text services or standardised response checklists; management get dynamic reporting and historical asset tracking. Best of all? The entire system can run on any Intrinsically Safe (IS) devices similar to that employees use day to day at home (i.e. based on Android or iOS operating systems).

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