Activities of the API Committee on Standardization of Tubular Goods
- L.E. Bartlett (Chief Petroleum Co.) | G.B. Kohut (Chevron Corp.) | D.S. Dabkowski (USX Corp.) | Randy McGill (American Petroleum Inst.)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE Drilling Engineering
- Publication Date
- September 1991
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 215 - 218
- 1991. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 4.2.3 Materials and Corrosion, 1.10 Drilling Equipment, 1.2.3 Rock properties, 1.6 Drilling Operations
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This paper outlines the organization of API Committee 5, the Committee on Standardization of Tubular Goods, and discusses the methods used in the standardization process. It also presents several examples of recent changes in standards and current activities in research and regular committee business.
Purpose Purpose The oil boom of the early 1900's created a tremendous need for oilfield pipe. Many suppliers rushed into business, but each had a size and thread pipe. Many suppliers rushed into business, but each had a size and thread form that fit its own manufacturing process. Users usually found that the inventory left from one well was worthless on the next. Also, one set of tubes often was different from others produced by the same manufacturer. These problems led to the formation of API Committee 5, which issued the first Spec. 5 in 1924. Although many changes have been made to the products and standards since then, the main purpose of the committee has products and standards since then, the main purpose of the committee has remained unchanged: i.e., to develop specification for materials and recommended practices for oilfield tubular goods and to promote the manufacture and use of standard, interchangeable, quality products.
The organizations of the API and Committee 5 have evolved through the years, but several key elements have remained intact. For example, the entire standardization organization reports to the General Committee of the Production Dept. (Fig. 1) so that committee members communicate directly with industry leaders. This structure ensures a clear understanding of operating companies' needs from the perspectives of management and committee representatives. Committee 5 is organized to use technical experts in the development of the standards while maintaining independent input from users and manufacturers. The committee is made up of manufacturers and users. Any item that calls for a change to a specification is placed on a letter ballot and must be accepted by the committee. A procedure and meeting schedule recently were established to conduct semiannual letter ballots and to update the specifications annually. Before an item is placed on the ballot, however, the committee receives advice from several sources.
Procedure for Standards Changes Procedure for Standards Changes Requests for changes can come from several sources. The most requests come from committee members who have had difficulty understanding the standards or have identified current or future needs inadequately addressed by the standards. However, anyone who has a request or a problem with the specifications is urged to submit a written inquiry to the API headquarters. The inquiry is reviewed by the committee officers and either answered or referred to a task group, typically made up of 10 to 15 members, for further review. Most of the technical effort is generated within the task groups. Committee 5 task groups are set up by product-oil-country tubular goods (OCTG) or line pipe-with several support product-oil-country tubular goods (OCTG) or line pipe-with several support groups made up of experts in the specific areas of interest (Fig. 2). Members of these groups and their supportive work groups do not have to be committee or API members. After an inquiry is forwarded to the appropriate task group, it is reassigned to a smaller work group (Fig. 3) to examine it in terms of existing API documents. The work group usually recommends one of three actions. 1. The inquiry should be answered by clarifying or changing the document. 2. The inquiry should end because it does not fit the standardization process. 3. Further research should be conducted to develop the necessary information to change the standard.
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