Developing the Cyprus quality infrastructure in the emerging hydrocarbon sector through standards

Developing the Cyprus quality infrastructure in the emerging hydrocarbon sector through standards

By Pambos Kammas, Director of Standardisation at the CYS


In an emerging hydrocarbon sector, regulation is the first requirement to be met. Since it’s an ongoing process, regulators should take into consideration various elements, thus the quality of regulations is suggested to rely on standards.

Standardisation is the voluntary process of developing technical specifications based on consensus among all interested parties. Standards are drafted for repeat use by experts in their field and may be considered as “state of the art”.

CEN/CENELEC Guide 30 quotes: “While the primary purpose of the use of standards is different from that of legislation and policy, the use of standards can serve a very useful function to support the implementation of public authorities’ initiatives”.

In the last 25 years, public authorities in Europe have moved towards a doctrine of ‘better regulation’. Better regulation is generally considered to mean the processes of delivering policy in the most efficient and effective way, seeking to minimise the administrative burden placed on enterprises and making enforcement easier.

CYS collaboration with the Hydrocarbon Service of the Ministry of Energy, aims to achieve quality in the hydrocarbon sector through better regulation. The means to hit the target is to implement a Strategic Oil and Gas Quality Service Programme for the long-run, based on sincere collaboration with all relevant stakeholders of the sector, for mutual benefit and for the benefit of the country.

It is suggested that certain infrastructure is essential to emerge from an official, structured and systematic collaboration among all O&G stakeholders: prime regulator, regulators, licensed companies, service companies and social partners. Such infrastructure may include the following actions: Form a Standardisation Advisory Body for the O&G Sector, establish a National Reference Point for Standards & Technical Information, enhance regional cooperation with neighbouring National Standards Bodies, generate a fund to support quality infrastructure.

Multiple benefits are expected: The regulators will be supported on quality issues for better regulation using uniform standards. Private companies will be facilitated to use standards. There will be alignment of common standards used, thus enhance uniform regulation in the Eastern Mediterranean Region for the O&G companies. A single focal national point will exist for decisions for all actions related to quality, standards, certification etc. A credible, updated, integrated electronic database of standards, standards developers, trainers, consultants, local stakeholders will be maintained for the O&G Sector. The national interest will be supported through the coordination of Cyprus representation at international and European Standardisation Technical Committees. Finally, the means for coordination of national policies and directions for quality issues will be provided in collaboration with the market (standards are market driven).

CYS is acting proactively and prepares accordingly its internal O&G structure putting “Quality and Safety first!” An integrated O&G training programme was implemented successfully in 2014 using competent trainers, experts and training partners, funded by the Hydrocarbon Service of the Ministry of Energy of the Republic. A second phase is planned for 2015. Simultaneously, a team of energetic officers, engineers from all disciplines, constitute a dynamic working group at CYS, working systematically both with local stakeholders and overseas, participating at European and International Standardisation Technical Committees drafting important standards.

Recognition at European level of this involvement of Cyprus in the O&G sector came quite early: As from July 1, 2015 CYS with NEN (the Dutch National Standards Organisation) will take over the secretariat of “CEN TC 12 – materials, equipment and offshore structures for petroleum, petrochemical and natural gas industries”. This achievement apart from the fact that puts Cyprus on the map of O&G countries in Europe through Standardisation, it offers us the opportunity of influencing decisions in drafting EN standards and indirectly certain related International standards.

Another important goal that CYS currently is after is an attempt to strengthen the co-operation with the Egyptian Organisation for Standardisation (EOS) through the signing of an official Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).

CYS will invite all relevant O&G stakeholders to engage themselves on a suggested National Action Plan based on an implementation roadmap, to set up the right quality infrastructures and create “Better Regulation” for the O&G sector based on uniform standards for Cyprus and hopefully for the Eastern Mediterranean region.


*Pambos Kammas, MBA, is the Director of Standardisation at the Cyprus Organisation for Standardisation (CYS). He is elected Board Member of the European Organisation for Standardisation (CEN) and Chairman of the CEN Certification Board (CCB).

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