New editions of API’s hydraulic fracturing standards provide the latest technical direction for operators working to continuously improve well integrity, groundwater protection, and environmental safety. Last updated in 2011, API’s standards for shale development have worked alongside robust state regulations to ensure safe and responsible energy development with hydraulic fracturing for over 65 years.
Strong standards key to success
“Hydraulic fracturing has unlocked vast energy resources, saving billions for consumers and putting America on a path to true energy security,” said API Director of Standards David Miller. “Strong standards are key to America’s success as an energy leader, and that’s why we bring together regulators and operators to promote proven practices for environmental protection. This update provides the latest guidance on equipment, monitoring, storage, and installation.”
Dubbed ANSI/API RP 100-1 and 100-2, the two new standards provide detailed specifications for pressure containment and well integrity, as well as environmental safeguards, including groundwater protection, waste management, emissions reduction, site planning, and worker training. The release follows last year’s publication of ANSI/API Bulletin 100-3, which outlines community engagement guidelines to help operators communicate effectively with local residents and pursue mutual goals for community growth.
Accessible to the public
“Like all our guidelines on hydraulic fracturing, the new standards will be accessible to the public on our website and shared with regulators at every level of government,” said Miller. “Our voluntary standards serve as an important source of information for state regulators, who finalised an estimated 82 groundwater-related rules for oil and gas production, including hundreds of discrete rule changes, from 2009 to 2013 alone. As the EPA recently confirmed, these efforts have allowed America’s energy sector to achieve a track record of proven safety while growing our economy and cutting U.S. carbon emissions to near 27-year lows.”
API first began publishing standards in 1924 and currently has over 650 standards and technical publications. Over 100 of them have been incorporated into US regulations, and they are the most widely-cited industry standards by international regulators. The programme is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), the same body that accredits programs at several national laboratories.
API is the only national trade association representing all facets of the oil and natural gas industry, which supports 9.8 million US jobs and 8% of the US economy. API’s more than 625 members include large integrated companies, as well as exploration and production, refining, marketing, pipeline, and 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 25 million Americans.
Adapted from a press release by Louise Mulhall