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API Energy Excellence

API Energy Excellence Drives Sustainability and Environmental Progress

API Energy Excellence launched earlier this year as a landmark API member initiative. The program is designed to build upon and accelerate industry efforts to advance safety, environmental stewardship and sustainability through API’s best-in-class safety and environmental standards and programs.

As API President and CEO Mike Sommers described it at the State of American Energy event in January, API Energy Excellence is the next big step.” Sommers explained that the new initiative provides a clear roadmap for accelerating safety and environmental performance across all segments of the industry.

For nearly a century, API’s standards have supported the safe and environmentally responsible development, production and transportation of natural gas and oil operations,” Sommers explained. “As energy leaders, all API members now participate in the API Energy Excellence program.

Defining the ‘Next Big Step’

As underscored by Sommers, the “next big step” will require member companies to demonstrate their efforts to advance safety and sustainability by adhering to the 13 core elements of API Energy Excellence through annual reporting to API. These performance management elements range from leadership and community engagement to employee training and equipment design.

Utilizing these 13 elements as a guide, members will demonstrate and report their efforts through participation in the standards and programs that API has developed and honed over the last several decades. This approach is designed to improve safety and environmental performance in all areas of operation, from the design of a new liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant to maintaining pipelines that deliver petroleum products to opening a state-of-the-art production facility. No matter the job, API Energy Excellence will serve to protect the environment, our workers’ safety and the communities that host our industry’s facilities.

Driving sustainability through API Energy Excellence

The program advances a set of principles designed to establish an overarching management system approach to operational excellence and sustainability. These principles include leadership, culture of safety and environmental protection and continuous improvements that harnesses innovation. Each of these principles is supported and operationalized through API’s safety standards, certification programs and management systems assessment programs.

For instance, the Safety and Environmental Management Systems (SEMS) required for offshore operators by the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) is based on API Recommended Practice 75 – a safety standard that provides requirements for a company to implement SEMS across operations.

This fundamental document that can be used to help meet the core elements of API Energy Excellence also serves as the foundational standard for the Center for Offshore Safety (COS), a program committed to supporting offshore operators as they develop, implement and improve their SEMS. Likewise, programs have been implemented at onshore production facilities, spanning multiple segments of the industry, including pipelines and refineries.

For instance, pipeline operators can utilize API Recommended Practice 1173, Pipeline Safety Management Systems, to understand, manage and continuously improve their safety efforts. Through this, pipeline operators show their commitment to systematically managing pipeline safety and continuously improving overall performance, while also meeting the core elements outlined in API Energy Excellence.

And for downstream operations, companies can participate in API’s Process Safety Site Assessment Program (PSSAP®). This program involves the on-site assessment of process safety systems by independent third-party process safety experts. These assessments follow industry developed protocols that evaluate the implementation and effectiveness of key components of process safety, focusing on leadership, implementation and shared learnings across the industry.

Addressing Climate Change

As API Energy Excellence companies, API members are committed to continuously improve performance, including driving further emissions reductions across all facets of the industry from drilling and extraction to transport and refining processes. In support of these objectives, API member companies can join programs like API’s The Environmental Partnership, which facilitates emissions reductions that mitigate risks of climate change.

The Environmental Partnership is a voluntary program focused on reducing upstream and midstream emissions by taking action, learning about best practices and collaborating. Member companies can join the nearly 90 existing participants – including both members and non-members – and take action through six programs including the Pneumatic Controller, Manual Liquids Unloading, Leak Detection/Repair, and Compressor Programs, and more recently added Pipeline Blowout and Flaring Programs.


What’s Next


API Energy Excellence is a comprehensive and actionable initiative that is helping to accelerate the safety and environmental achievements being made across all segments of the natural gas and oil industry. Through this program, API members are committed to advancing safety, environmental stewardship and sustainability by implementing and participating in established API standards and programs. API Energy Excellence signifies critical cross-industry core operational values, a major step for the industry, and through the reporting that will commence in 2022, a visible demonstration of our quest to drive tangible progress.

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