The American Petroleum Institute and the US Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement both have issued new standards and rules that affect operations in the Gulf of Mexico for offshore oil and gas.

offshore oil and gas

The American Petroleum Institute has published two new oil and natural gas industry standards for well design and drilling operations.

One of these is RP 96, “Deepwater Well Design and Construction.” It provides a reference for offshore well design, drilling, and completion operations in deepwater, and covers the range of considerations to include when planning and executing deepwater drilling.

This document addresses the following:

  • Identifies the appropriate barrier and load case considerations to maintain well control during deepwater well operations (drilling, suspension, completion, production, and abandonment).
  • Supplements barrier documentation in API 65-2 with a more detailed description of barriers and discussion of the philosophy, number, type, testing, and management required to maintain well control. This document also supplements the barrier documentation in API 90 with regard to annular pressure buildup. Abandonment barrier requirements are described for use when designing the well.
  • Discusses load assumptions, resistance assumptions, and methodologies commonly used to achieve well designs with high reliability. The load case discussion includes less obvious events that can arise when unexpected circumstances are combined.
  • Describes the risk assessment and mitigation practices commonly implemented during deepwater casing and equipment installation operations.

Mactech’s Take:
As deeper exploration and wells continue to become viable due to increasing technology, our industry must continue to incorporate safety into everything we do. Safety for our workers and for the environment surrounding us. David Miller states it best in this article when he describes their safety process as a “rigorous and open review process.” The offshore oil and gas industry is a very dangerous industry the process of keeping our most important assets (people and environment) will continue to rely on the joint efforts of all experts within the industry.

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