API Director of Standards David Miller announced today the publication of a new oil and natural gas industry bulletin for well construction interface, the latest of several standards developed or strengthened as a result of post-Macondo task force recommendations.
“API standards help the oil and natural gas industry produce the energy to fuel our economy in a safe and responsible manner,” said Miller. “These well construction guidelines will help lease operators and drilling contractors ensure that they are on the same page when it comes to safety. We are constantly working to ensure industry standards reflect the best practices, technologies, safety standards and environmental protections possible.”
API Bulletin 97, Well Construction Interface Document Guidelines, provides guidance on information that is to be shared regarding well construction and rig specific operating guidelines. It is intended to align the lease operator’s safety and environmental management system (SEMS) with drilling contractor’s safe work practices (CSWP).
Immediately after the Macondo incident, the oil and natural gas industry formed joint industry task forces (JITFs) to examine every aspect of its safety systems, including equipment, operating practices, sub-sea well control, and spill response with the objective of strengthening industry standards. The JITFs also worked with the Department of the Interior and the presidential commission to help with their recommendations for offshore safety improvements, including changes to regulations.
API and the industry have a commitment to continuous improvement, and Bulletin 97 is the latest in a list of new or updated API standards focused on safe and environmentally responsible operations in the offshore that have directly resulted from the JITF recommendations. Others include:
•Standard 65-2, Isolating Potential Flow Zones During Well Construction
•Standard 53, Blowout Prevention Equipment Systems for Drilling Wells
•Recommended Practice 96, Deepwater Well Design and Construction
•Recommended Practice 98, Selection of Personal Protective Equipment
•2nd Edition of Recommended Practice 17H, Remotely Operated Tools and Interfaces on Subsea Production Systems
“API leads the world in setting standards for the oil and natural gas industry,” Miller said. “Safety is always our highest priority.”
The API Standards Program is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), the authority on U.S. standards. Every API standard is developed in an open process with public comment period by joint committees of representatives from government regulators, engineering companies, contractors, equipment manufacturers, and the oil and natural gas industry. More than 100 API standards have been incorporated in government regulations, and API undergoes regular third-party audits to ensure its program meets ANSI’s Essential Requirements for openness, balance, consensus and due process. Government-referenced and safety-related standards are freely available online at www.api.org.