API Updates Offshore Safety Standard

The American Petroleum Institute (API) on 4 December published a significantly updated version of a key safety standard aimed at enhancing the oil and natural gas industry’s commitment to worker safety, incident prevention, and environmental protection in offshore operations.

API Recommended Practice 75 (RP 75) provides guidance for establishing, implementing, maintaining, and continually improving a safety and environmental management system (SEMS) for offshore operations. API RP 75 is a performance-based document that provides a systematic methodology for companies to identify and manage operational risks, enhance the safety of workers, and protect the environment.

“Producing oil and gas safely while protecting our environment is a top priority for API and its members,” said Debra Phillips, senior vice president of API’s Global Industry Services. “API continuously updates its standards to reflect new technologies, techniques, and in-field learning. This latest edition of RP 75 reflects state-of-the-art systems to drive safety and environmental protection in offshore operations.”

The new edition makes several changes that expand the safety and environmental management system by

  • Extending the standard for use globally, beyond its previous focus on domestic operations in the US outer continental shelf
  • Providing guidance on how companies should interface with one another to ensure operational risks are managed and safety and environmental protection are maintained
  • Expanding the types of operations that fall under SEMS risk-management expectations, providing greater consideration of human performance
  • Structuring the standard to encourage use by contractors and subcontractors
  • Including advancements in technology, operations and overall knowledge 

API RP 75 has a 25-year history of promoting safety and environmental protection at offshore assets and helped lay the foundation for the Center for Offshore Safety (COS), which was established to promote the highest level of safety for the US offshore oil and natural gas industry. COS works with the offshore industry on the implementation of both RP 75 and the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement’s (BSEE) SEMS requirements, which are mandatory, along with third-party audits every 3 years, for all operators in the US outer continental shelf.

Find the updated standard here.

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