Energy Tomorrow Blog
Posted January 28, 2020
A major part of API’s core mission is the development of industry standards that enhance safety and environmental protection at oil and natural gas facilities both in the U.S. and around the world.
API CEO Mike Sommers underscored this important point in releasing the State of American Energy 2020 report earlier this month. "Today, U.S. energy development is safer than it’s ever been, in part, thanks to API’s world-class standards," Sommers said. "From foundational offshore safety to pipeline leak detection, API standards drive safety, environmental protection, and sustainability. Not only here in the United States, but across the world.”
API has published over 700 standards and best-in-class operational practices since it was founded 100 years ago. In 2019 alone, API introduced 90 safety standards, underscoring our commitment to a safer workplace for workers and their communities, and environmental protection.
Posted September 24, 2019
As the U.S. will soon become a net exporter of total energy, API is continuing to lead the way on safety and environmental protection through the development of key industry standards.
Globally, offshore energy development is poised to grow, with significant new finds spurring the construction of some of the largest floating offshore production facilities ever built.
Just this past month, API released a suite of new Integrity Management (IM) standards outlining how floating production platforms should function to improve operational efficiency, safety, and environmental protection.
Posted August 14, 2019
API is proud to again partner with the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to host the agency’s annual “Safe + Sound Week,” a nationwide event focused on raising awareness and understanding of the importance of safety and health programs in the workplace.
It’s an initiative the natural gas and oil industry fully appreciates and works continuously to advance. Safety is a core industry commitment. It’s fundamental to protecting our workers, the communities that host natural gas and oil development and the environment, each of which help sustain our permission to operate.
Posted August 9, 2019
Do you know what’s below? If not, dial before you dig.
This Sunday, August 11th is National 8-1-1 Day, a date promoting the awareness of buried pipelines and utilities as you break ground on projects around your home. Careful consideration – and one quick call – can go a long way toward keeping you and your property safe.
Posted May 16, 2019
Updated and new API standards that address the ethanol blended into the nation’s gasoline supply – developed in partnership with the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) – will enhance the natural gas and oil industry’s ability to safely trade and/or ship its products.
Certainly, our industry has disagreed with RFA over policies and specific provisions related to the Renewable Fuel Standard’s mandates for increasing ethanol use in the nation’s gasoline. Even so, we agree on the need for technical standards to help ensure the safe transfer of products and work together to develop them.
Posted April 30, 2019
Soon the federal government is expected to release its updated offshore well control rule, one that improves on its 2016 predecessor by providing flexibility to meet specific challenges across a variety of offshore conditions while encouraging innovation and technologies that help improve safety.
We expect that opponents of natural gas and oil development anywhere to attack the updated rule when it’s released. Yet, fact and logic will weigh heavily against them.
Posted April 17, 2019
With the Trump administration nearing release of a new five-year offshore leasing plan for oil and natural gas, offshore energy has never been safer or stronger – thanks to initiatives and technologies designed to enhance worker safety and protect the environment. (See this post dispelling offshore energy myths.) Below, 10 important developments that have strengthened the vitally important work of harnessing America’s offshore energy.
1. Center for Offshore Safety
The Center for Offshore Safety (COS) is an industry-led initiative to promote continuous safety improvement for offshore drilling, completions and operations through effective leadership, communication, teamwork, disciplined management systems and independent third-party auditing and certification.
Posted April 15, 2019
Every 6 minutes, an underground utility line is damaged because someone dug without first calling 811 – the number you can call for free, from anywhere in the country, to verify that it’s safe to dig.
The goal is to keep everyone safe by ensuring that there are no below-ground utility lines that could be unintentionally damaged.
April is Safe Digging Month, an annual campaign to remind homeowners and contractors to call 811 before starting a home project that involves digging.
Posted March 7, 2019
In this post last week we explained how alternative measures, approved by federal officials, may be used to comply with the 2016 well control rule, as well as all regulatory requirements associated with offshore oil and natural gas development. …
Now the federal Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) is chiming in – not surprising, since the agency’s integrity was besmirched. In a letter to members of Congress this week, Lars Herbst, BSEE’s Gulf of Mexico Outer Continental Shelf regional director, called the regulatory provision for alternative procedures or equipment “long-standing,” having been granted by the previous administration as well as the current one. Herbst writes that “zero” waivers have been granted by BSEE regarding the well control rule.
Posted February 28, 2019
Months before the federal offshore well control rule went into effect in July 2016, API told Congress the safety regulation could actually increase risks associated with offshore oil and natural gas development – that its rigid requirements could stifle innovation and thwart the effectiveness of new operational technologies.
The 2016 rule is an example of “prescriptive” regulation, a one-size-fits-all approach that requires certain processes, procedures and tests. It was and is the wrong approach for offshore safety – mainly because every oil and natural gas well has different characteristics: geology, depth, water pressure and temperature and other variables that factor into developing the best safety plan for a particular well.
In that context offshore operators seek government-approved alternative compliance paths – which they’ve done since the rule’s launch in 2016, when the Obama administration was in charge of the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE), the overseer of offshore safety. Indeed, the requests show the rule needs fixing.