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API updates offshore safety and environmental management standard

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US oil and gas trade association the American Petroleum Institute (API) has made considerable revisions to 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.

The standards, 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.

It 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 revised version expands 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 each other 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 utilisation by contractors and sub-contractors

  • 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 of Offshore Safety, which was established to promote the highest level of safety for the US offshore oil and natural gas industry.