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API issues new standard to enhance safety and environmental management information sharing at well sites

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Oilfield Technology,


The American Petroleum Institute (API) has issued Recommended Practice (RP) 97L, a first edition standard that improves communication between onshore well operators and drilling contractors to enhance overall safety and environmental management.

RP 97L, Onshore Well Construction Interface Document, provides expert guidance to improve the types of information shared between an operator and the drilling contractor, including both well construction and rig-specific operating guidelines.

These improvements strengthen safety and environmental management systems (SEMS) by aligning the safety procedures used by both the contractor and operator. SEMS are a key piece of any well facility’s operations, including providing guidance on how to communicate and respond to a variety of situations to maintain operational safety and environmental protection.

The standard assists in formalising the lease operator’s and drilling contractor’s exchange of information by providing guidance on bridging both parties’ SEMS. The bridging document provides the following: an outline of responsibilities for the lease operator’s and drilling contractor’s personnel; acknowledgement that risk assessment processes should be used during well construction activities; a vehicle for the drilling contractor to be involved when operational changes are made that could require a new well activity risk assessment; a method to align all parties with applicable health and safety standards, as well as regulatory requirements; and finally, a method of communicating stop work authority.

The new standard makes information sharing more deliberate, enhancing understanding and expectations between both parties to maintain safe operations.

API’s standards help to achieve the industry’s goal of protecting its workers, the surrounding communities, the environment, and the public at large by establishing safety requirements that address all aspects of natural gas and oil production. The API standard development process is accredited by the independent American National Standards Institute, and enables API to publish documents with increased transparency and objectivity, enhancing their effectiveness in the field.

Read the article online at: https://www.oilfieldtechnology.com/digital-oilfield/18122020/api-issues-new-standard-to-enhance-safety-and-environmental-management-information-sharing-at-well-sites/

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