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US oil and natural gas industry trade association American Petroleum Institute (API) has released two new oil and natural gas industry standards for well design and drilling operations.

One of the two standards, Deepwater Well Design and Construction, API Recommended Practice (RP) 96, will provide engineers with a system-wide reference for offshore well design, drilling and completion operations in deepwater.

It will include a wide range of considerations that must be taken into account when planning for and undertaking deepwater drilling operations.

The Protocol for Verification and Validation of High-Pressure High-Temperature Equipment, API Technical Report 1PER15K-1 is the other standard, which creates a process for evaluating equipment deployed in high-pressure and high-temperature (HPHT) environments both onshore and offshore.

According to the API, this new standard will provide the industry with a reliable approach to design the latest drilling and completion equipment that is fit-for-service in deeper, HPHT wells. In November 2012, API published a related document, API Standard 53, Blowout Prevention Equipment Systems for Drilling Wells.

"It will include a wide range of considerations that must be taken into account when planning for and undertaking deepwater drilling operations."

The document updated and reinforced an existing standard for blowout preventers with priority on standardising operating requirements and prioritising preventive maintenance, inspections and testing.

API director of Standards, David Miller, said that every industry standard developed by the body shares the objective of safely and responsibly producing more energy to meet America’s needs.

"These new guidelines will help the industry to continue operating safely in deeper, higher pressure, and higher temperature environments," Miller added.

"As changing technologies provide better opportunities to develop the energy that fuels America, industry standards must adapt as well."

The American National Standards Institute (Ansi), the authority on US standards, has accredited the API Standards Program. API develops each of its standards after an open consultation with representatives from government regulators, engineering companies, contractors, equipment manufacturers and the oil and natural gas industry.

"Every one of our standards is built on expert input from industry and the regulatory agencies," Miller added.


Image: The standards will include a range of considerations to be taken into account when planning for and undertaking deepwater drilling operations. Photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos / num_skyman.

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