API updates oil, gas shale resources development standards

The American Petroleum Institute issued new editions of its hydraulic fracturing standards to help operators continuously improve well integrity, groundwater protection, and environmental safety. The shale development standards, which API last updated in 2011, have worked alongside robust state regulations to ensure safe and responsible development with fracing for more than 65 years, the trade association said.

“This update provides the latest guidance on equipment, monitoring, storage, and installation,” API Standards Director David Miller said on Oct. 9 as the new standards were released. API last updated these voluntary standards, which are designed to work alongside more robust state regulations, in 2011, he said.

Miller noted that the standards, ANSI/API RP 100-1 and 100-2, provide detailed specifications for pressure containment and well integrity, as well as environmental safeguards, including groundwater protection, waste management, emissions reduction, site planning, and worker training.

The latest update followed last year’s publication of ANSI/API Bulletin 100-3, which outlined community engagement guidelines to help operators communicate effectively with local residents and pursue mutual goals for community growth (OGJ Online, July 9, 2014).

“Our voluntary standards serve as an important source of information for state regulators, who finalized an estimated 82 groundwater-related rules for oil and gas production, including hundreds of discrete rule changes, from 2009 to 2013 alone,” Miller said.

API first began publishing standards in 1924 and currently has more than 650 standards and technical publications. More than 100 of them have been incorporated into US regulations, and they are the most widely cited industry standards by international regulators. The program is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), the same body that accredits programs at several national laboratories, API said.

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com.

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