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API Updates Fire Prevention and Safety Recommended Practice for Refineries

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WASHINGTON, July 2, 2019 – Today, the American Petroleum Institute (API) published an updated standard to address fire prevention and improve safety across the downstream segment of the industry.

RP 2001, Fire Protection in Refineries, includes important revisions on hazard analysis, new ways to improve the design of refineries to help prevent fires, and new information on managing the potential environmental impact of firefighting foams and marine firefighting.  API convened experts across the natural gas and oil industry, and collaborated with important stakeholders, including the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the United States Coast Guard on important updates made to this safety standard. 

“API experts used state of the art information and key recommendations from NFPA, EPA, OSHA, and the U.S. Coast Guard to develop the new edition of Fire Protection in Refineries.  Implementation of RP 2001 will advance the safety of downstream facilities’ operations, and safeguard the environment and surrounding communities,” said Debra Phillips, Vice President, API’s Global Industry Services. 

“API RP 2001, Fire Protection in Refineries, is consistent with Chevron’s approach, which gives considerable attention to fire prevention practices and is not just about fire extinguishment.  Implementation of the concepts within this document by corporate and field personnel will make their facilities safer for their workforce and neighbors as well as help protect their assets,” said Tim Blackford, Team Lead - Process Safety Engineering at Chevron Energy Technology Company.

Highlights of the revision for the 10th edition include:

  1. The use of hazard analysis throughout all states of designing, upgrading, or expanding a refinery to help prevent hazards (Section 5.2).
  2. Improvements to the layout of a refinery to prevent incidents related to: drainage process, site exits for egress, layout and spacing of process units, and the location of offsite facilities (Section 5.6).
  3. Consultation of fire protection experts prior to the use and/or disposal of firefighting foam, remediation of contaminated sites, and the conversion from existing synthetic firefighting foam concentrate to alternative chemistries in consideration of EPA’s PFOA Stewardship Program (Section 6.3.2).
  4. An informative Annex D on marine firefighting, which provides background information and references to documents developed by NFPA and the International Fire Service Training Association (IFSTA) to help protect land-based firefighters who could be called to fight a fire on a marine vessel.

For additional information, or to purchase the standard, please visit here.

API will be hosting a training webinar on Tuesday, August 6, 2019 at 11:00 a.m. Eastern on the 10th edition of RP 2001. The webinar will be hosted by Tim Blackford, a mechanical engineer from Chevron, and Clark Shepard, a process safety expert from ExxonMobil. Mr. Blackford and Mr. Shepard will discuss the details and rationale associated with the updates made in the 10th edition.

For details about the RP 2001 webinar, or to register, please visit or email

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. API’s GIS division is responsible for standards setting, certification, training, events, publications and safety programs for industry operations.

API represents all segments of America’s oil and natural gas industry. Our more than 600 members produce, process and distribute most of the nation’s energy. The industry supports more than ten million U.S. jobs and is backed by a growing grassroots movement of millions of Americans. API was formed in 1919 as a standards-setting organization. In our first 100 years, API has developed more than 700 standards to enhance operational and environmental safety, efficiency and sustainability.


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