API: Offshore rig builders must keep pace

  • Equipment

The American Petroleum Institute (API) has announced the publication of five recommended practices for the design, construction, and maintenance of offshore structures used in oil and natural gas drilling and production operations.

“Technological improvements mean offshore resources that were once out of reach can now be tapped, and the guidelines for those who build and maintain offshore platforms must keep pace,” said API Director of Standards David Miller.

“API continuously revises existing standards and develops new ones because innovation and change are constant features of our industry.”

One of the documents released yesterday revises an existing standard, while four are new standards being published for the first time:

RP 2A-WSD, 22nd Edition, Planning, Designing, and Constructing Fixed Offshore Platforms—Working Stress Design serves as a guide for the design and construction of new fixed offshore platforms and for the relocation of existing platforms used for the drilling, development, production, and storage of hydrocarbons in offshore areas.

RP 2MET, 1st Edition, Derivation of Metocean Design and Operating Conditions sets general requirements for using meteorological and oceanographic (metocean) conditions to inform the design, construction and operation of all types of offshore structures used in the petroleum and natural gas industries.

RP 2GEO, 1st Edition, Geotechnical and Foundation Design Considerations contains requirements and recommendations for applying aspects of geoscience and foundation engineering to a broad range of offshore structures.

RP 2EQ, 1st Edition, Seismic Design Procedures and Criteria for Offshore Structures contains requirements for defining design procedures and criteria for earthquake-resistant fixed offshore structures. It also discusses the effects of seismic events on floating and partially buoyant structures.

RP 2SIM, 1st Edition, Structural Integrity Management of Fixed Offshore Structures provides guidance for managing the structural integrity of fixed structures used for the drilling, development, production, and storage of hydrocarbons offshore. Specific elements address the evaluation of structural damage, inspections above and below the water, assessing fitness-for-purpose, risk reduction, mitigation planning, and the process of decommissioning.


API first began publishing standards in 1924 and currently has over 650 standards and technical publications. Over 100 of them have been incorporated into U.S. regulations, and, according to API, they are the most widely-cited industry standards by international regulators. The program is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), the same body that accredits programs at several national laboratories.

API, representing America’s oil and natural gas industry, hasmore than 600 members which produce, process, and distribute most of the nation’s energy. According to API, the oil and gas industry supports 9.8 million U.S. jobs and 8 percent of the U.S. economy.

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