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Why API Standards For Oil And Gas Fasteners Are So Critical

When it comes to oil and gas fasteners, there is nothing more important than adhering to industry standards. It is true for most commercial applications, where a fastener failure can result in consequences such as hours of downtime. 

As the O&G industry expanded over the years and continuously moved into harsher, unforgiving environments, the consequences of bolting failures present significant risks. You could be drilling offshore in 10,000 feet of water or in a quiet neighborhood full of homes, so having fasteners that will stand up is critical.

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In the face of such disastrous risks, the O&G industry created an initiative to address bolting-related concerns head-on. Among the most critical components of the initiative was the publication of the API 20E and 20F Specifications.

History of API specifications for oil and gas fasteners

The API (American Petroleum Institute) sets standards and specifications for all pressure boundary products used in exploring, drilling, refining, transporting, and distributing petroleum products. However, in the past 100 years, bolting was the only component category in the pressure boundary without such control.oil and gas fasteners

However, various original equipment manufacturers and multiple O&G operators made it their endeavor to initiate their own quality-enhancing bolting specifications. In response to this, the AWHEM (Association of Wellhead Equipment Manufacturers), a trade association that provides the industry with value-added technical support, decided to standardize these specifications by creating a general industry document.

The API’s publication of specification 20E, Carbon Steel, and Alloy Bolting for Natural Gas and Petroleum Industries has been around since 2012. The group also published a companion piece, API 20F, detailing corrosion-resistant bolting. Let’s take a closer look at the standards they cover.

API 20E services levels

The 20E API specifications establish three bolting levels (BSL-1, 2, and 3) that define ascending levels in qualification, quality, and technical requirements. The incremental severity levels reflect an increase in the severity of the consequences in case of bolting failure. The specifications reserve BSL-3, the highest level, for applications that must never experience any bolting malfunction.

Importance of API standards for oil and gas fasteners

A failed fastener could result in the loss of human life, severe environmental damage, and billions of dollars in repairs,, API standards play several critical roles.

First, they ensure that the bolting used in these applications can withstand extreme conditions and pressures. Fasteners that meet the API standards have been rigorously tested to ensure quality and durability, reducing any potential for failure.oil and gas fasteners

Second, API standards help to ensure that the bolting used is corrosion-resistant. Typically, the fasteners will have to endure harsh chemicals and environments that can cause deterioration. By ascertaining the bolting is able to withstand these conditions, you reduce the risk of failure due to corrosion. 

Finally, API standards help ensure proper bolting installation, decreasing the likelihood of potential fastener failure resulting from poor installation. 

The Importance of API Standards  

Never sacrifice quality when it comes to fasteners. Instead, turn to Big Bolt for all of your fastener needs. Big Bolt manufactures and sells high-quality fasteners, and we can turn them around for you in a day if needed. We use state-of-the-art equipment and procedures and employ highly trained and experienced personnel to ensure that our fasteners meet all of the required specifications.

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