API Releases New Standard governing design of critical safety valves

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The American Petroleum Institute issued the newest version of its standard governing the design and operations of critical safety valves in onshore and offshore oil and gas wells. The 21st Edition of Specification 6A—Wellhead and Tree Equipment includes automatic closure requirements to ensure additional protection for workers and the environment in loss of power and emergency situations, API said.

Other improvements include rigorous requirements for modern technologies, including equipment quality provisions, and recognition of the environmental conditions in which well equipment is to be placed safely in service. The US Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement has relied upon this specification in its offshore oil and gas safety regulations, API noted.

“Each day, more than 1.6 million bbl of oil are pumped from hundreds of deepwater wells in the Gulf of Mexico,” API Global Industry Services Vice-Pres. Debra Phillips said. “Ensuring the immediate closure of valves connecting underwater production systems to surface facilities will help keep workers safe and adds an additional layer of environmental protection where they operate.”

API published its first 6A standard in 1924, making it one of the largest US oil and gas trade association’s longest existing standards that underpin its core value of continuously improving global industry operations, Phillips said.