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API enters new technical collaboration with Saudi Arabia

Published by , Senior Editor
Hydrocarbon Engineering,

Safety, security, environmental protection and sustainability in global oil and natural gas operations are the broad objectives of a first-ever collaboration between API and the Saudi Standards, Metrology and Quality Organization (SASO) – outlined in a recently signed Technical Collaboration Program.

The new collaboration with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on standards development underscores API’s ongoing commitment to help promote these shared goals worldwide through its industry standards programs.

API, which started in part as a standards-setting body, marked its 100-year anniversary earlier this year. With over 700 standards and best practices developed since its founding, API is an excellent resource for countries and organisations both inside and outside the US that want to adopt standards to further safe and reliable operation of oil and natural gas facilities. This spring, API signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) – a major step forward in bringing together the largest oil-producing regions in the world to harmonise standards in the Persian Gulf.

The SASO-API program extends that cooperation in the Middle East with Saudi Arabia – the largest oil producer of the GCC member countries. Increased cooperation with Saudi Arabia will further harmonise API’s global relationships on standards development while expanding the industry’s safety and security culture within the region.

With the growth of the Saudi petrochemical industry, process safety management is a key area for potential collaboration between SASO and API. A priority for the global industry, process safety is part of safety management that focuses on identifying hazards and risks and implementing layers of protection to prevent injuries and environmental releases. The adoption of API standards, such as API RP 754, and implementation of API safety programs, like API’s Process Safety Site Assessment Program (PSSAP), are specific ways the two organisations can work together to advance safety and environmental protection.

PSSAP is an effective and efficient program that looks beyond regulatory compliance to drive continuous improvements – by identifying ways refineries and petrochemical facilities can improve safe operations and more effectively manage individual sites. During a PSSAP assessment, a team of independent, third-party process safety experts spend about a week at a site to work with employees across all shifts to fully evaluate the health of existing process safety systems and help facilities benchmark their programs, analyse performance data and identify trends and patterns.

API Recommended Practice 754 – entitled ‘Process Safety Performance Indicators for the Refining and Petrochemical Industries’ – is a safety standard that helps refineries reduce risks and identifies leading and lagging process safety indicators to help improve performance.

As part of the agreement, SASO and API will share information and learning best practices, helping to achieve global alignment in safety and environmental standards. As such, SASO and API will be able to participate jointly in standards development by bringing together technical experts.

From technical experts participating in standards development to furthering process safety, API continues to expand its global relationships to make energy development around the world increasingly safe, efficient and sustainable.

Written by Debra Phillips, Vice President of API’s Global Industry Services.

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