The initiative of certain oil and gas companies to create an internal voluntary certification authority in Russia has been backed by the Kremlin.
"Based on the results of the strategic meeting on the issues of strategic development of oil, gas and chemical industry, which took place on December 1, 2020, the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin recommended Rosneft, LUKOIL, NOVATEK, RussNeft, Zarubezhneft, TAIF and Irkutsk Oil Company to consider becoming founders of the autonomous non-commercial organization "Institute of Oil and Gas Technology Initiatives" (IOGTI) or signing (in order to receive a monitor's status) a memorandum of cooperation with this organization for the purpose of development of standardization in the oil and gas complex", reports the information agency.
According to the message of Interfax with a reference to the list of the President's orders, a report on this issue must be submitted before May 1, 2021.
"Russian certification will become an alternative to standardization and assessment of compliance by the American Petroleum institute (API) and the Institut Français du Petrole (IFP)", says Maksim Malkov, the practice director of strategic and operational consulting of KPMG in Russia and CIS countries.
Oil and gas companies joining IOGTI will be able to undergo certification confirming that their quality management system is in line with the necessary requirements. "It will make it possible to overcome licensing barriers in the internal and international markets. IOGTI members will be able to supply products to companies and projects under US and EU sanctions without the risk of revocation of the quality monograms", says the expert.
According to the "Russian Newspaper", the latter has happened many times before. "Standards of the American Petroleum Institute (API) are widely used across the world for equipment certification in terms of quality, safety, environmental friendliness, and so on. Moreover, in 25 countries they are partially integrated into the legislation", says Daria Kozlova, the practice director of State Regulation of Fuel and Energy Complex of Vygon Consulting.
She pointed out that it creates risks for Russian equipment manufacturers required to obtain American confirmation of compliance with the standards. For example, in the event of supplies to sanctioned facilities, API may simply revoke the certificate.
"An autonomous non-commercial organization will generate a new system of voluntary certification on the basis of the best developments of member companies. The system of voluntary certification INTERGAZSERT created by "Gazprom" can be used as a platform for a promising system", according to "Finmarket" with reference to the company's release.
"Over its 100 years of history, the API has reached dominating position in the market close to monopoly. For the Russian oil and gas industry in the existing geopolitical situation, it causes significant risks in the process of implementation of large-scale investment project", says Pavel Krylov, Head of "Gazprom" Department, to "Finmarket".
Vitaliy Markelov, Vice President of the Board of the gas holding, clarified: "API as the main platform for development of new products and technology solutions uses its widespread international recognition, lobbying the interests of its members and the USA, which creates obstacles for Russian manufacturers in assessment of conformity to requirements of foreign standards. API-certified foreign manufacturers often threaten revocation of product monograms in the event of supply to companies and projects sanctioned by the USA as well as the EU.
Rustam Tankaev, Director of the "InfoTEK-Terminal", gave his comments on the news to "Neftegazovaya Vertikal". "If this is about unification of technology developments, there have been numerous such attempts, all of which have been unsuccessful. Each company has its own science and research branches, and these are very closed structures that will not share their developments into which dozens of millions of dollars are invested, with competitors. Therefore, the President of Russia will hardly be able to make the companies share their technologies, as it simply contradicts objective laws of market economy", says the expert.