Skip to main content

API Continues to Promote Safe U.S. Energy Development, Enhances Workplace Safety with Release of Recommended Practice 54


202.682.8114 | press@api.org



WASHINGTON, February 20, 2019 – The American Petroleum Institute today released Recommended Practice 54 (RP 54), Occupational Safety and Health for Oil and Gas Well Drilling and Servicing Operations, which provides procedures for promoting and maintaining safe and healthy working conditions for personnel in drilling and well servicing operations. 

“The safety of oil and natural gas operations is of paramount importance to our industry – and API continues to lead the way through the creation and revision of key standards that improve safety and environmental protection. Each day more than 11.9 million barrels of oil are pumped from thousands of wells in the United States to meet the needs of U.S. consumers - and standards like RP 54 help the industry provide this important resource safely and sustainably,” said Debra Phillips, vice president of API Global Industry Services (GIS).

U.S. energy development is safer than ever as a result of industry leadership, innovation and continuous investments in safety. Over the last 100 years, API has created over 700 standards to enhance the safety, efficiency and sustainability of our operations, while protecting the environment and the communities in which we operate. As operating conditions change and technology advances come on line, we develop and revise standards improve operations and safety performance.”

The document applies to rotary drilling rigs, well servicing rigs, and special services as they relate to operations on location. First published in 1981, significant revisions in this edition of Recommended Practice 54 include a new section on flowback operations which is key for safe well testing, revised requirements for facility and site process hazard assessment and mitigation, and introduction of formal risk assessments as well as expanded provisions for offshore operations.

API standards are developed under API’s American National Standards Institute accredited process, ensuring that the API standards are recognized not only for their technical rigor but also their third-party accreditation which facilitates acceptance by state, federal and increasingly international regulators, including 96 references by the U.S. Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, or BSEE. API’s Global Industry Services (GIS) division is responsible for certification, standards-setting, training, events, publications and safety programs for onshore, offshore and refinery operations.

API also recently published a handbook, “Rules to Live By,” that contains fundamental safety reminders for workers and employers. Each page of the handbook may be printed as a poster to remind workers of important safety tips while doing things such as working at heights, implementing stop work authority or driving safely.

API is the only national trade association representing all facets of the natural gas and oil industry, which supports 10.3 million U.S. jobs and nearly 8 percent of the U.S. economy. API’s more than 600 members include large integrated companies, as well as exploration and production, refining, marketing, pipeline, marine businesses, and service and supply firms. They provide most of the nation’s energy and are backed by a growing grassroots movement of more than 47 million Americans. API was formed in 1919 as a standards-setting organization. In its first 100 years, API has developed more than 700 standards to enhance operational and environmental safety, efficiency and sustainability.