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API Publishes Industry Standard for Shipments of Crude by Rail


Brian Straessle | 202.682.8114 | straessleb@api.org


WASHINGTON, September 25, 2014 – The American Petroleum Institute today published a new set of recommended practices for testing and classifying crude oil for rail shipment and loading it into rail tank cars.

“The development of standards is a major part of API’s ongoing work to enhance safety throughout our industry,” said API President and CEO Jack Gerard. “This particular standard is one element of a much broader approach to safety improvement. A comprehensive effort that addresses accident prevention, mitigation and response is essential to achieving our goal of zero incidents for crude by rail shipments.”

API’s Recommended Practice for Classifying and Loading of Crude Oil into Rail Tank Cars, known as RP 3000, provides guidance on many important aspects of preparing to ship crude oil by rail, including:
  • Procedures for initial and ongoing sampling and testing of crude oil for transport classification. 
  • Criteria for determining the frequency of crude oil sampling and testing, and how to document results. 
  • How to assign the correct Packing Group. 
  • Establishing a crude oil sampling and testing program. 
  • Proper quantity measurement procedures to prevent overfill when loading crude oil into rail tank cars.

“Proper testing, classification and handling are important when shipping any material subject to PHMSA regulations, and crude oil is no exception,” said Gerard. “These guidelines are the product of extensive work and cooperation between the oil and natural gas industry, the freight rail industry and PHMSA to ensure crude shipments are packaged appropriately and emergency responders have the right information.”

To purchase this API standard please visit the API Publications Store, or view a full list of Authorized API Redistributors.

API first began publishing standards in 1924 and currently has over 650 standards and technical publications. Over 100 of them have been incorporated into U.S. 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 represents all segments of America’s oil and natural gas industry. Its more than 600 members produce, process, and distribute most of the nation’s energy. The industry also supports 9.8 million U.S. jobs and 8 percent of the U.S. economy.