American Petroleum Institute Makes Safety Standards Available to Public Online
The American Petroleum Institute today announced that it is putting 160 industry standards online for the first time, part of an effort to be more transparent about the standards under which many oil and gas companies operate.
The move comes as regulators have been criticized for adopting many standards written by the industry as federal regulations, both for offshore drilling and onshore pipelines. As part of my series on pipeline safety, I reported that API authored all or part of 27 standards on pipeline safety that were then adopted by a key agency that oversees pipelines, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration. Many of the standards were not easily accessible to the public, as copies were kept at the PHMSA and API offices but were not released online. There have been similar reports of the now-defunct Minerals Management Service adopting the industry’s offshore drilling standards.
API makes quite a bit of money selling these standards, which is why the group originally didn’t put them online. Now, the public can see a read-only version of the standard. Hard copies will still have to be purchased. The 160 standards that have been put online are just one-third of the standards authored by API, but the group says all of the safety-related standards have been put online.