American Petroleum Institute (API) is one of the largest organizations covering all aspects of the oil and gas industry. From upstream to downstream, API regulates standards and codes to help the petroleum industry grow while supervising its sustainability by adhering to environmental safety. In this article, PetroSync gives detailed information about API definition, the members of API, some of the well-known API standards and codes, as well as step-by-step to earn API certification.

What is API – American Petroleum Institute?

The American Petroleum Institute (API) is an association that represents the oil and gas industry in the United States.  API has arranged seminars, workshops, conferences, and symposia addressing public policy matters since it was established back in 1919 focusing on recommended practices regarding safety.

Further, API covers equipment, operations, effective water management, spill prevention, and environmental protection as part of its concern. Commonly used in federal and state oil and natural gas regulations, API standards have become one of the most cited standards by international regulators.

API has also established specific standards with the aim of promoting personnel and public safety in the oil and gas industry, including drilling, refinery operations, and well-servicing operations.

API lays the ground rules for companies and manufacturers to develop safety programs suitable for their operational needs. As a leading association with over 800 produced standards, API offers training and certification programs for workers in the industry.

Who Are The Members of The American Petroleum Institute (API)?

API members consist of producers, refiners, suppliers, pipeline operators, marine transportation companies, and service and supply companies that cater to all sectors of the oil and gas industry.

API has a vast membership base of over 600 corporate members, including some of the industry’s largest and most well-known brands. Some of the well-known members are from Petroleum companies such as ExxonMobil, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, BP America, and Shell Oil Company.

By connecting its members, API provides a forum to collaborate on common goals and advocate for policies that benefit the industry. If your company plans to join the community, you can check their official website.

What Are API Standards for the Oil Gas Industry?

American Petroleum Institute (API) standards promote established, reliable engineering, operational practices, and safe, interchangeable equipment and materials from drill bits to environmental protection. These encompass manuals, standards, specifications, recommended practices, bulletins, guidelines, and technical reports.

Companies can enhance their operational proficiency, guarantee compliance with regulations and safe procedures, and reduce the likelihood of equipment breakdowns leading to potential risks if they adhere to API codes and standards.

oil and gas industry is usually compliant with API standardsOil and gas industry is usually compliant with API standards (credit: Pixabay)

What Are The Most Used API Standards?

The most used API Standards in the oil and gas industry are API 5L (for line pipe), API 650 (for welded tanks), API 570 (for piping inspection), API 510 (for pressure vessel inspection), API 653 (for tank inspection), and API RP 2A (for offshore structures design).

In the table below, you will find a list of the most popular API standards integrated into PetroSync’s training for the past thirteen years, attended by engineers from prominent companies.

Standards Focus

Available Training

API 510 – Pressure Vessel Inspection Maintenance, inspection, repair, and alteration of pressure vessels API 510 Training: Pressure Vessel Inspection
API 570 – Piping Inspector Inspection, reparation, and alteration guidelines for metallic and fiberglass-reinforced plastic (FRP) piping systems API 570 Training:
Piping Inspector
API 653 – Tank Inspection, Repair, Alteration, and Reconstruction Maintenance, inspection, repair, relocation, alteration, and reconstruction of aboveground storage tanks API 653 Training: Tank Inspection, Repair, Alteration, and Reconstruction
API 580 – Risk-Based Inspection (RBI) Integrity Management of equipment in the petroleum, petrochemical, and natural gas industries API 580 Training: Risk-Based Inspection
API 581 – Base Resource Document Assessment and management of risks associated with equipment integrity API 581 Training: Base Resource Document
API 579 – Fitness For Service Structural integrity assessment and fitness for continued service of equipment API 579 Training: Fitness For Service
API 571 – Damage Mechanisms The corrosion and materials degradation mechanisms in refining and petrochemical industries API 571 Training: Corrosion and Materials
API 936 – Refractory Material Installation quality control of monolithic refractory linings and materials API 936 Training: Refractory Material Design, Application, Installation and Inspection
API 560 – Fired Heaters for General Refinery Service Online Training The focus of API 560 standard is on the design, installation, operation, and maintenance of fired heaters in the oil and gas industry.  API 560 Training: Fired Heaters for General Refinery Service

Several standards are favored compared to hundreds of other Individual Certification Programs released by API. Most of these standards are available in API Training by PetroSync. Below are the brief foundations of each standard.

1. API 510 – Pressure Vessel Inspection

API 510, as an inspection code, covers the maintenance, inspection, repair, and alteration of pressure vessels. In October 2022, API released the latest edition.

Though refining and chemical processing vessels are the ones who apply the API 510, other companies such as pharmaceutical, electrical, food and beverage, or any other industry where pressure vessels are utilized can also implement this standard.

To maintain the fitness of the pressure vessels, API provides  API 510 certification for individuals with an extensive understanding of the pressure vessels topic. The certification is designed to improve the employers and the industry with the expected results below:

  1. Enhance the management’s ability to control the operation, maintenance, and repair of process units.
  2. Minimize the likelihood of inspection delays.
  3. Ensure a continued high level of safety under the supervision of highly skilled and experienced inspectors.

API 510 certification is a globally recognized certification. PetroSync offers API 510 Pressure Vessel Inspector training course with extensive research of course material covering not only Pressure Vessel Systems but also all the relevant details to help you master the industry knowledge. Reserve your spot now!petrosync API 510 pressure vessel inspection training

2. API 570 – Piping Inspector

API 570 provides inspection, reparation, and alteration guidelines for metallic and fiberglass-reinforced plastic (FRP) piping systems, including their associated pressure relief devices that are currently operated.

Hence API 570 certification serves as proof of your competence, expertise, and experience in the field of piping inspection and maintenance. The standard will assess your comprehension and ability to apply the piping systems knowledge in practical situations. Because of that, all applicants of API 570 must meet education requirements and have specific experiences.

With a mixture of lectures, case studies, and discussion, API 570 training by PetroSync can help you acquire theoretical and practical skills in the field of In-Service Piping Systems that can be readily applied to your piping inspector job. Enroll today and take your career to the next level.

petrosync api 570 piping inspector course training

3. API 653 – Tank Inspection, Repair, Alteration, and Reconstruction

One of the most popular standards is API 653. The code covers the maintenance, inspection, repair, relocation, alteration, and reconstruction of aboveground storage tanks constructed per API 650 and its predecessor, API 12C. API 653 outlines the minimum requirements for ensuring these tanks’ structural integrity after being put into service.

The standard is designed for companies with engineers or inspection personnel completed with experience in tank design, fabrication, repair, construction, and inspection as part of the tank maintenance effort.

Not only beneficial for tank inspectors, API 653 certification universally equips your organizations with the knowledge to ensure that your personnel carries out the highest quality standards regarding storage tank inspection. Before taking the certification program, preparing with sufficient knowledge of API 653 standards is best.

PetroSync provides API 653 Tank Inspection, Repair, Alteration, and Reconstruction training course. Hence the in-house training can be tailored to meet your organization’s specific needs at your preferred location and time. Reserve your spot and master the tank inspection strategy with PetroSync!

petrosync API 653 storage tank inspection training

4. API 580 Risk-Based Inspection and API 581 Base Resource Documents

API 580 standard evaluates a candidate’s comprehension of risk-based inspection (RBI) principles, methods, and practices within the petroleum, petrochemical, and natural gas sectors. The certification is renowned as a measure of proficiency in RBI. Employers and regulatory agencies usually demand this certification.

Meanwhile, API 581 guides assessing equipment failure risks, prioritizing inspections, data management, and program implementation. API 581 is widely used to ensure equipment safety and reliability in high-risk environments.

If both standards cover risk inspection, what is the difference between API 580 and API 581? API 580 relies on the RBI development guidance program, while API 581 modulates quantitative methods for COF, POF calculation, and establishes risk-based inspection plans.

Considering how API 580 and API 581 Risk-Based Inspection & Base Resource Document training course help you in the field of asset integrity management, most experts in the industry recommend taking the API 580 and API 581 certifications.

You can enroll in API 580 and 581 training crafted by PetroSync to master the knowledge of risk-based inspection with active learning, combining case studies, lectures, and discussion. Reserve your spot today!Petrosync API 580 API 581 Risk Based Analysis Training

5. API 1169 – Pipeline Construction Inspection

API 1169 certification program is the result of API cooperation with industry experts to develop a widely recognized credential for the inspection of new onshore pipeline construction.

The qualification is eligible for applicants with expertise in general onshore pipeline construction inspection, inspector responsibilities, personnel and general pipeline safety, and environmental and pollution control.

As stated by API Official, it is now possible to arrange for this examination to occur either at physical testing facilities or via remote proctoring. In fact, there have been growing numbers of applicants attending the online examination for the past three years regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.

The API 1169 is currently unavailable in PetroSync, but we can bring the tailored API 1169 in-house training to help your team acquire the skills and knowledge to excel in Pipeline Construction Inspection.

Petrosync API In House Training

6. API 579 – Fitness For Service

Fitness for Service (FFS), popularly known as API 579, is one of the most commonly used methods regulating the correct approach in assessing equipment’s safety and efficiency for a desired future period. This standard is a result of collaboration between API and ASME (in the name of ASME FFS-1) to cater to any flaws, damage, or aging conditions that may happen in monitoring pressure vessels, piping, and tanks.

Though API does not open any certification for this particular standard, this does not diminish the value of mastering API 579. The standard is highly recommended for individuals in various roles, including inspection personnel, chemical or mechanical engineers, and process engineers.

This standard has wide-ranging applications, so design engineers and maintenance engineers who are involved in the repair, maintenance, and troubleshooting of plant equipment in the refining, petrochemical, and chemical industries may also find it beneficial.

Dive deeper into the knowledge of API 579 Fitness For Service training course with PetroSync! We deliver a 90% success rate in helping students pass the exam, PetroSync commits to helping you achieve your career aspirations.

Petrosync API 579 Fitness For Service

7. API 571 – Damage Mechanisms Affecting Fixed Equipment in The Refining Industry

The purpose of API 571 is to cover a comprehensive understanding of damage mechanisms in refining, petrochemical, and other process industries. API 571 can also act as a valuable reference document either on its own or on its complementary support for different API standards and recommended practices. Nearly 70 different damage mechanisms are covered under API 571, along with the critical factors of causality.

API 571 is hoped to give a strong grounding and fundamentals to the engineers, supervisors, and managers before making an informed decision. With that being said, API 571 certification can help individuals ensure the safety of the environment and involved personnel.

PetroSync crafts API 571 Damage Mechanism Affecting Fixed Equipment in the Refining Industry training course with in-depth research of course material. Claim your spot and learn a handful of processes and environmental parameters with experienced instructors in the industry with PetroSync!
PetroSync API 571 Damage Mechanisms Affecting Fixed Equipment in the Refining Industry Training

8. API 936: Refractory Material Design, Application, Installation and Inspection

API 936 is a standard that focuses on everything related to refractory materials used in industrial settings. It covers how these materials are designed, applied, installed, and inspected to ensure they work effectively.

The standard provides guidelines for selecting the right refractory material for specific applications and ensuring it’s installed correctly. It also outlines procedures for inspecting the refractory lining to check for any defects or issues that could affect its performance. Following API 936 helps maintain the quality and safety of refractory linings in industrial equipment, such as furnaces and kilns, which are crucial for many manufacturing processes.

9. API 560 – Fired Heaters for General Refinery Service Online Training

API 560 is a standard that focuses on fired heaters used in refineries for heating various substances during the refining process. These heaters play a crucial role in heating crude oil and other materials to specific temperatures for processing.

The standard covers everything from the design and construction of these heaters to their operation and maintenance. It provides guidelines for ensuring that fired heaters are built safely and efficiently, meeting industry standards for performance and environmental protection.

API 560 outlines specifications for different types of fired heaters, including their components like burners, tubes, and refractory materials. It also includes requirements for safety systems and emissions control to minimize risks and environmental impact.

Following API 560 helps ensure that fired heaters in refineries operate reliably, efficiently, and safely, contributing to the smooth operation of refinery processes and compliance with regulatory standards.

What Is The Difference Between API Standard, API RP, and API MPMS?

1. API Standards (API STD)

API Standards are like rulebooks for the oil and gas industry. They provide detailed instructions on how to design, build, and operate equipment and systems used in the industry. These standards are essential because they ensure that everything, from storage tanks to wellhead equipment, meets specific technical requirements.

By following these standards, companies can maintain safety, quality, and consistency in their operations. For example, API STD 650 lays out the guidelines for constructing storage tanks, while API STD 6A defines the requirements for wellhead and Christmas tree equipment.

2. API Recommended Practices (API RP)

API Recommended Practices are helpful guides that provide advice on how to perform various tasks in the oil and gas industry. These practices are not mandatory but are considered industry best practices. They focus on specific areas and offer guidance on how to achieve desired outcomes safely and efficiently.

For instance, API RP 581 offers guidelines and a structured approach for assessing and managing the risk associated with the operation of equipment in the oil and gas industry. These recommended practices help companies make informed decisions and improve their processes.

3. API Manual of Petroleum Measurement Standards (API MPMS)

The API Manual of Petroleum Measurement Standards is a comprehensive resource that explains the detailed procedures and methods for accurately measuring and quantifying petroleum and petroleum-related products.

This manual is crucial for ensuring accurate measurements in the industry, as even small errors in measurement can have significant financial and operational consequences. By following the guidance in the API MPMS, companies can maintain precision and consistency in their measurement processes, which is essential for fair transactions and operational efficiency.

What is The Difference Between API Standard and ASME Standard?

API standards are designed mostly for the petroleum industry, addressing aspects like equipment design, fabrication, inspection, testing, and operational practices. Meanwhile, ASME standards have a broader application, extending to various engineering fields like mechanical, civil, chemical, and nuclear engineering.

Both API and ASME standards serve important roles in maintaining safe and reliable engineering practices, yet their scopes differ as API focuses on oil and gas, while ASME caters to multiple industries.

How To Get an Individual Certification Program (ICP) by API?

 to be an API Inspector, an engineer must take API Individual Certification Program
API Inspector and Engineer must comply with API Standards as their base framework (Credit: Freepik)

To be API Inspector and obtain API certification, you must undergo an examination that acts as the definitive assessment, assessing your competency and specialization in a particular domain, especially API-related skills. Here are several typical procedures involved in acquiring the API Individual Certification Program.

1. Confirm Your Eligibility and Determine API Certification Program 

Each certification has specific requirements that applicants must fulfill. Read the full articles on API Certification Program. This is an essential step to focus on since API will consider applicants unqualified if they fail to meet the minimum standards. The committee will not refund the submitted application either. You can refer to the API Refund Policy for more information.

2. Create an API Account and Submit The Application

Thoroughly read the login instructions provided by API in this document and complete the online application process.

3. Prepare The Required Documents

Ensure you have contact details for each employer who can confirm your employment dates, skills, and experience to support the qualification. You must also provide the relevant documentation (educational diplomas, transcripts, certifications, or bank details for electronic payments). Note that you need to prepare all of the officially translated certificates and transcripts.

4. Study API Standards and Guidelines

API commonly recommends study materials in preparation for the certification exam. You can also sign up for oil and gas training with PetroSync to help you prepare. PetroSync partners with the most experienced and knowledgeable international instructors in their fields.

5. Take The Exam

You can take the exam at a testing center or through a remote proctoring service, and passing it will grant you the API certification.

6. Renew The Certification Every Three Years

A company can renew its certification by meeting continuing education or professional development requirements or retaking the exam.

All in all, API codes and standards are essential guidelines for the oil and gas industry. Companies with API certification have complied with API codes and standards for equipment design, manufacture, and testing.

API certification builds trust with customers, investors, and regulators, ensures safety and reliability, and promotes environmental responsibility. PetroSync designs its API Training to suit you in seeking a career boost with its public training.

For any organization wanting to maintain its highest standard of environmental performance, safety, and quality, PetroSync offers tailored in-house training for your special needs. Are you ready to enhance your knowledge and skills in the oil and gas industry? Sign up today.

Reserve Your Training Seat!

Enhance your skills with the latest industry knowledge. Kickstart your career growth with PetroSync training today!

Write A Comment