ABS, a leading provider of classification services to the global offshore industry, has entered into a memorandum of understanding with Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI), Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME) and Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) to establish a joint industry project (JIP) with leading operators, drilling contractors and engineering companies to develop new international design standards for offshore oil and gas projects.

The objective of the JIP is to establish new global design standardization procedures based on relevant industry standards, international regulations and class requirements across the offshore industry. ABS will lead the standardization process to verify technical compatibility of the developed standards, conduct safety and risk assessments and provide a gap analysis report.

"ABS has recognized the potential value of standardization for some time," says ABS Chairman, President and CEO Christopher J. Wiernicki. "This JIP offers the opportunity for a group of diverse companies to create standardized procedures and basic designs that will reduce construction costs without making concessions on quality or safety."

In a first step to convene the JIP and discuss ways to develop criteria to help shipbuilders and designers improve design and construction efficiencies and manage project costs, ABS hosted a two-day workshop 12-13 October with representatives from HHI, DSME, SHI, Korea Offshore & Shipbuilding Association (KOSHIPA) and KOMERI with participating operators, contractors and engineering companies based in Houston.

"ABS is ready to work with industry stakeholders toward standardizing offshore designs to improve quality, safety and efficiency in design, construction and project execution," says Dr. Hoseong Lee, ABS Vice President of Global Korea Business Development and the ABS Korea Energy Technology Center, who is leading the JIP effort. "We believe material, equipment and design standardization among shipbuilders and designers, particularly on complex offshore structures, has significant potential to improve overall construction economics and enhance safety."

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