New standards for Arctic oil and gas

Standardization can increase efficiency and safety in Arctic operations.

Representatives from seven countries have gathered in Tromsø this week to create a new set of standards for sustainable standardized solutions for international petroleum activities in the Arctic.


In a time when petroleum industry is characterized by cost cutting and downsizing, standardization has become the new industry buzzword and is seen as an important tool for increasing efficiency and safety. The use of standardized equipment has resulted in savings in investment of between 30% and 40% on North Sea projects, Standrad Norge’s web site reads.

The meeting in Tromsø, which gathered 66 experts from Canada, Denmark and Greenland, Norway, Russia, the Netherlands, the UK and US, was part of the International Standards Organization ISO’s “Arctic Operations” initiative. A special committee under Russian leadership and Norwegian deputy leadership has been established by ISO to coordinate the work.

The goal of the standardization work within Arctic operations is to build on and expand experience and solutions from countries Canada, Denmark and Greenland, Norway, Russia, the Netherlands, the UK and US to establish common standards in six key areas:

  • Working environment
  • Escape, evacuation and rescue
  • Environmental monitoring
  • Ice management
  • Arctic materials
  • Physical environmental data for Arctic operations.

“If operations in these waters should be profitable, it is essential that companies are in agreement on which solutions should be used and avoid the use of customized solutions,” Managing Director of Standrad Norge Jacob Mehus said to “Common standards ensure a common level, improved safety, mutual understanding and a continued positive cooperation in northern areas, especially between Norway and Russia,” he added.