On March 1-3, 2022, the Standards Alliance—a partnership program between the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)—collaborated with ASTM International, the National Standards Body of Cote D’Ivoire (CODINORM), Ghana Standards Authority (GSA), Senegalese Association of Standards (ASN), and the Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON) to hold the West African Petroleum Standards Workshop in Accra, Ghana. The workshop kicked off a three-year project focused on building an understanding of relevant petroleum standards to emphasize their value and drive forward their use.
The workshop provided an opportunity for petroleum standards experts from West Africa and the United States to share international best practices for gasoline, diesel, and engine oil standards and certification schemes. The three-day workshop built awareness and understanding of relevant international standards for petroleum quality, safety, and management systems.
More than 16 participants representing various agencies from West Africa and the U.S. attended. Representatives from ASTM International and the American Petroleum Institute (API)—including Jim Olshefsky, the director of external relations at ASTM International; Augustus Wiredu, the local technical consultant for ASTM International; and Jeff Harmening, API senior manager of the Engine Oil Licensing Certification System (EOLCS)—shared their perspectives on international petroleum standards. Also in attendance were eight focal point representatives from Ghana, Senegal, Ivory Coast, and Nigeria and seven representatives from the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA), including Alex Dodoo, the Director-General of GSA, who provided opening remarks on the first day of the workshop.
The workshop addressed key topics encompassing:
Among other outcomes, ECOWAS experts identified certain ASTM International standards to measure fuel properties and ASTM International reaffirmed their intent to encourage testing laboratories to use harmonized up-to-date testing protocols. Participants also discussed ASTM testing protocols and implementation challenges in the local context, and identified which testing method works best in the various regions
The second day of the workshop included a Q&A session and in-depth panel discussion, which explored the various ways gasoline and diesel fuel parameters could be measured. On the final day of the workshop, eight representatives from Ghana, Senegal, Ivory Coast, and Nigeria, along with a representative from the GSA, visited the Ghana Standard Authority Office and their petroleum lab. Following this visit, participants traveled to visit Verity Labs, a private lab run by an ASTM International technical consultant near the port of Tema in Ghana.
This workshop served as an opportunity for members of the national petroleum committees to meet and discuss potential next steps for the regional harmonization of petroleum testing methods with delegates from Ivory Coast, Ghana, Nigeria and Senegal. The next event is scheduled to take place in July 2022 in Nigeria, where delegates will examine the testing methods and parameters of the Nigerian oil and gas industry. The workshop marks the beginning of a multi-year educational process that will enable ASTM International to gather input on the participants’ technical topic priorities to be addressed as the project continues.
Background on ASTM International and API’s Work in West Africa
ASTM International and API have entered a partnership agreement with the Standards Alliance to implement a three-year project called “Harmonization of Petroleum Standards in West Africa.” The project will support training focused on standards for the petroleum sector in West Africa, specifically targeting the biggest oil-producing/ refining countries (e.g., Nigeria, Ghana, Ivory Coast, and Senegal). Click here for more information on the project scope and objectives.
For more information on the Standards Alliance, please visit the standardsalliance.ansi.org.