In 1985, the American Petroleum Inst. (API) issued the first edition of API Spec. Q1, which dealt with new certification procedures for equipment and materials. This paper discusses API's Spec. Q1 program as it relates to drilling-fluid products and reveals the problems encountered when API Spec. 13A was modified.
Beginning in 1923, the API recognized the need to standardize production equipment to enable interchangeability of hardware and material with minimum performance and wide availability. Through the years, API has played a major role in achieving that goal. Under API's Spec. Q1 program of 50 standards, 1,400 manufacturers worldwide are licensed to self-certify products that meet appropriate specifications with the API monogram.
Recently, increased environmental and safety concerns at all government levels caused a flood to change laws and regulations for both onshore and offshore petroleum activities. Agencies often adapted API standards, referenced API documents, and requested API's help in filling the gap where no standards exist. Because of the changing laws and concerns to provide equipment and materials that ensure certain field performance, API began to re-evaluate its licensing program.
In June 1983, the API Production Dept. Operating Committee, composed of participating oil-company users, authorized changes to create new standards and to strengthen and revise all API standards, where needed. Major changes included the establishment of (1) new standards where necessary; (2) on-site survey of manufacturing facilities before API monogram licensing; (3) strict, consistent, objective, and reliable quality-assurance requirements; and a (4) voluntary monogram licensing program that was independent of product specifications.