API Standards

What is American Petroleum Institute (API)?

The American Petroleum Institute (API) was formed in 1919 as a standards-setting organization. In our first 100 years, API has developed more than 700 standards to enhance operational and environmental safety, efficiency and sustainability.

API standards advocate proven, sound engineering and operating practices and safe, interchangeable equipment and materials from drill bits to environmental protection.

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API Standards

Included with API Standards are manuals, standards, specifications, recommended practices, bulletins, guidelines and technical reports.

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Gain a Competitive Edge with API Standards on:

Exploration and Production

This section includes bulletins, technical reports, publications, recommended practices, specifications, standards related to: onshore, offshore, hydraulic fracturing, natural gas, oil sands, and oil Shale.

Health and Environmental Issues

This section includes documents such as department records, bulletins, technical reports, publications, recommended practices, and security guidelines that address critical health and environment issues, including air, fire protection, natural resource damage assessment, pollution prevention, soil and groundwater, environmental stewardship, storage tanks, surface water, and waste.

Petroleum Measurement

Petroleum Measurement provides leadership in developing and maintaining cost effective, state of the art, hydrocarbon measurement standards and programs based on sound technical principles consistent with current measurement technology, recognized business accounting and engineering practices, and industry consensus.

This section covers topics: calibration and measurement of upright cylindrical tanks, horizontal tanks, spheres/spheroids, tank care, and barge tanks; gauging methods for petroleum and petroleum products; provers; pulse interpolation; metering systems’ temperature determination; test methods for water and sediment in petroleum products; compressibility factors; and evaporation loss.


This section includes the wholesale and retail distribution, including tanker truck transportation, of refined petroleum products such as gasoline and diesel fuel to business, industry, government, and public consumers.


This section includes publications, recommended practices, standards and technical reports relating to: inspection, pressure relieving systems, mechanical equipment, electrical installations, heat transfer equipment, materials engineering, motor control, piping components, pumps, valves, and refinery waste.

Get critical documents covering refinery use operations such as: pressure vessel inspection Code, piping Inspection code, process analyzers, sizing, selection, and installation of pressure relieving devices in refineries. You’ll also find the guide for pressure-relieving and depressing systems, risk-based inspection, and storage tanks. Including a complete resource on the design, construction, inspection, and repair, including welding guidelines for plate heat exchangers within the design and construction phases of LPG installations.


This section includes security guidelines for the petroleum industry and data on petroleum industry occupational injuries as well as the following topics: Oil Tankers, pipelines, pipeline performance, and rail transportation.

Safety and Fire Protection

This section includes proactive safety and occupational health leadership and expertise that advances the industry’s overall safety and occupational health performance by combining resources to identify and address important public, employee, and company issues.

These risk-based technical API standards and recommended practices are based on sound science to promote safe, healthful, efficient, and environmentally sound practices, and to monitor and respond to governmental actions.