Existing regulations covering well design requirements and hydraulic fracturing operations
are specifically formulated to protect groundwater.
API’s ongoing workshop series “Commitment to
Excellence in Hydraulic Fracturing” is one of the tools
that the oil and natural gas industry uses to reinforce with
regulators, remind lawmakers and educate the public
on industry’s commitment to and leadership on safety,
health, and environmental protection. Recently in 2016,
an updated version of the workshops included our revised
standards related to hydraulic fracturing. This series builds
on the original 2011-2012 outreach series, which focused
on API’s hydraulic fracturing series of industry guidance
documents. The workshop presentations have been
archived and are available for the public and others to
view. They can be seen on the Hydraulic Fracturing section
of API’s website.
Safety is a core value of the oil and natural gas industry.
Safety has continued to grow since the advent of
hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling, bringing energy
development to more and more areas across the country.
Existing industry standards, best practices and existing
regulations are minimizing emissions and protecting the
health of American families and workers.
Standards provide the framework for securing and
advancing safety. They guide industry in protecting the
personal safety of workers as they deal with task-specific
hazards, and they establish process safety measures,
covering the equipment, procedures, and training
concerned with avoiding major events. Importantly,
safety standards also safeguard public health and the
environment, ensuring that communities and habitats
surrounding industry sites across the country thrive.
API has been the industry leader in developing standards
since 1924. The API Standards Program is accredited
by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), the
same body that accredits programs at several national
laboratories, and these standards are developed by the
best and brightest technical experts from government,
academia, and industry.
Working through API’s globally recognized standards
program the industry has developed and adopted
standards and practices specific to hydraulic fracturing.
This includes API Standard 65 Part 2 (overseeing
cementing and well construction practices) and API’s
Recommended Practice 100-2 (providing proven
practices for planning and operating wells, and managing
environmental aspects through the life of the well), two of
hundreds of API standards and recommended practices
cited by several federal agencies and state regulatory
This combination of existing industry standards, best
practices and effective state and federal regulation is
protecting communities and the environment – while safely
making available increasing volumes of cleaner-burning
natural gas that is allowing the U.S. to lead the world in
natural gas and oil production at the same time that the
nation is a global leader in reducing carbon emissions from
There are 130 API standards referenced in more than 430
citations by government agencies, including Bureau of
Safety and Environmental Enforcement, the U.S. Coast
Guard, Environmental Protection Agency, the Federal
Trade Commission, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials
Safety Administration and the Occupational Safety and
Health Administration. Furthermore, there are 4,130
references in state regulations to more than 240 API
standards – the most widely referenced petroleum industry
standards used by state regulators.
Industry also works closely with STRONGER, a non-profit
multi-stakeholder organization that helps states formulate
robust environmental regulations associated with oil and
natural gas development, based on a detailed review and
lessons learned/improvement process.