The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

API Standards – For Safe, Responsible Development

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted April 1, 2013

API is out with two new oil and natural gas industry standards on well design and drilling operations:

  • Deepwater well design and construction
  • Protocol for verification and validation of high-pressure, high-temperature equipment

Both represent advancements toward making oil and natural gas extraction safer – for people and the environment. David Miller, API director of standards:

“Every industry standard we develop shares the goal of safely and responsibly producing more of the energy America needs. These new guidelines will help the industry to continue operating safely in deeper, higher pressure, and higher temperature environments. As changing technologies provide better opportunities to develop the energy that fuels America, industry standards must adapt as well.”

The standard on deepwater wells provides engineers a system-wide reference for offshore design, drilling and completion – covering a number of considerations when planning for and undertaking deep water drilling operations. The equipment protocol standard establishes a process for evaluating equipment that’s used in high-pressure and high-temperature conditions onshore and offshore.

The two new standards follow publication last November of a strengthened and updated standard for blowout prevention equipment, focusing on standardizing operating requirements while prioritizing preventive maintenance, inspections and testing.

Publishing new standards and updating existing ones reflect industry’s commitment to safe and responsible development of America’s oil and natural gas resources. API’s standards program is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), the authority on U.S. standards. More than 100 API standards have been incorporated in government regulations, and API cooperates with regular third-party audits to ensure its program meets ANSI’s expectations for openness, balance, consensus and due process.

API standards represent industry best practices and are based on proven engineering practices. Their use is voluntary unless incorporated in regulations. In all, API maintains more than 600 standards, including 240 focused on exploration and development.  Miller:

“We are the global leaders on setting the industry’s standards, which are developed in accordance with ANSI-approved procedures in a rigorous and open review process. Every one of our standards is built on expert input from industry and the regulatory agencies.”

These finished standards result from a thorough, transparent process that incorporates discussion and consensus building – with the input of government regulators, engineering companies, contractors, equipment manufacturers and the oil and natural gas industry – and careful review. Industry standards work in conjunction with federal and state regulatory systems to help make oil and natural gas production as safe as possible.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Mark Green joined API after a career in newspaper journalism, including 16 years as national editorial writer for The Oklahoman in the paper’s Washington bureau. Mark also was a reporter, copy editor and sports editor. He earned his journalism degree from the University of Oklahoma and master’s in journalism and public affairs from American University. He and his wife Pamela live in Occoquan, Va., where they enjoy their four grandchildren.