API broadens its technical programs to address public scrutiny

Corrections were made to this story May 9.

Growing public scrutiny of oil and gas operations has forced the American Petroleum Institute to broaden its technical program coverage to suppliers of goods and services, API executives said.

David Miller, director of API’s standards and practices department, said his department also is working on a new community engagement program.

Plans are to have a draft ready by midyear with a final version by Dec. 31, Miller said during an API lunch with reporters on May 2.

Meanwhile, John Modine, API’s global industry resources director, said API’s Global Industry Services Group is conducting refinery and gas processing plant audits.

API has developed Work Safe, an online employee training system that companies can adopt.

“It takes a long time for the results of improved training to infiltrate every company’s operations,” he said. “Culture can be the toughest thing to move in any organization.”

Modine recently attended a Center for Offshore Safety forum where participants said the biggest challenge is making it so employees are rewarded, and not reprimanded, for reporting problems.

“The oil and gas services industry is about eight times the industry’s manufacturers, but it was left alone for a long time,” Modine said. “We’ve visited several service companies’ headquarters, but the real work gets done when we see their work sites.”

API is not ready yet to certify service contractors, but hopes to have its first certification program for them this summer, he added.

About 5,000 certified licenses are on API’s composite list, which can be viewed online, Modine said.

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com.

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