The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

Constant Innovation, Constant Improvement

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted November 12, 2014

Newly published API recommended practices for offshore structures supporting oil and natural gas drilling and production operations – reflecting technological advances and updated design applications – can help improve planning, construction and maintenance of important energy infrastructure. They are intended to work together to enhance the approach to offshore structural design by addressing the following:

Fixed Offshore Platforms Working Stress Design – This revision to an existing standard serves as a guide for the planning, designing and construction of new fixed platforms and for the relocation of existing platforms used in drilling, development, production and storage of offshore hydrocarbons.

Derivation of Metocean Design and Operating Conditions – Gives general requirements for using meteorological and oceanographic (metocean) conditions for the design, construction and operation of offshore structures of all types in the oil and natural gas industries.

Seismic Design Procedures – Contains requirements for defining design procedures and criteria for earthquake-resistant fixed offshore structures. It also discusses the effects of seismic events on floating and partially buoyant structures.

Structural Integrity Management – Provides guidance for managing the structural integrity of fixed structures used for the drilling, development, production, and storage of offshore hydrocarbons. Specific elements address the evaluation of structural damage, inspections above and below the water, assessing fitness-for-purpose, risk reduction, mitigation planning, and the process of decommissioning.

Geotechnical and Foundation Design (Section 9) – Contains requirements and recommendations for applying geoscience and foundation engineering in consideration of soil-structure interaction during development of a safe and economical layout/design of all facilities for deepwater infrastructure, including flowlines and risers.

Again, all represent added guidance made possible by new technology. David Miller, API’s director of standards:

“Technological improvements mean offshore resources that were once out of reach can now be tapped, and the guidelines for those who build and maintain offshore platforms must keep pace. API continuously revises existing standards and develops new ones because innovation and change are constant features of our industry.”

API, which first started publishing industry standards in 1924, currently has more than 650 standards and technical publications – more than 100 of which have been incorporated into U.S. regulations. They are the most widely cited industry standards by international regulators. API’s standards program is accredited by the American National Standards Institute, the same body that accredits programs at a number of other standard-developing organizations and national laboratories.

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.