The American Petroleum Institute has released its newest valve standard as part of the industry’s continuous efforts to improve operational safety and environmental protection. Specification 6A governs the design and operations of the critical safety valves at wells used in the offshore and onshore oil and gas industry. The latest edition includes new automatic closure requirements to ensure additional protection for workers and the environment in loss of power and emergency situations.
Among the other improvements now included in the 21st edition of Specification 6A – Wellhead and Tree Equipment – are rigorous new requirements for modern technologies, including equipment quality provisions, and recognition of the environmental conditions in which well equipment is to be placed safely in service. This specification has been relied upon by the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement in its regulations for offshore safety.
Specification 6A is used extensively in the manufacturing of offshore and onshore production equipment. More than 750 organizations globally use an API registered mark, verifying that their manufacturing practices conform to the standard. The 15th edition of Specification 6A introduced the concept of Product Specification Levels, or PSLs in 1986. PSLs are tiered requirements that improve oilfield safety as they group specific technical and quality requirements, based on expected field conditions and equipment usage. API Specifications are used by licensed manufacturers with the authority to apply the API Monogram registered mark to equipment that has met the requirements.