Shining a light on 100 years of API Standards advancing safety, sustainability and environmental protection.


Celebrating a Century of Standards

Since 1924, the American Petroleum Institute (API) has published more than 800 standards, guidelines, and other documents that enhance safety, efficiency and environmentally responsible industry best practices.

API standards are celebrated for their global impact and technical rigor, reflecting a standards development process that is both thorough and inclusive. Draft standards undergo extensive consultation utilizing consensus building and stakeholder input, ensuring a balance of diverse interests are represented throughout the process. This method encourages participation and promotes technical integrity. It’s a process accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and has been applied to the development of all editions of API’s extensive range of standards. 

As we look to the future, we continue to strive to deliver energy in ways that protect our workers, communities and the environment, helping the industry do so by codifying good safety practices, adapting to new technologies, advancing lower carbon technologies, community engagement efforts and other initiatives. 



During World War I, drilling delays resulted from shortages of equipment, and the industry attempted to overcome that problem by pooling equipment, including equipment from the U.S. The effort initially failed due to lack of uniformity of pipe sizes, threads and coupling. Thus, API took up the challenge of developing industry-wide standards to promote equipment compatibility by gathering the expertise of leaders in the field. After bringing these experts together to agree upon design and requirements, the first standard Specifications for Steel and Iron Pipe for Oil Country Tubular Goods was published on October 20, 1924.

A century later, our standards are globally recognized and adopted, helping countries address a range of challenges—everything from fortifying their energy independence to improving operational safety.

Help shape the next 100 years of API standards!


Explore the rich history and significance of API standards through our recent articles.

The Rising Significance of First-Edition Standards

Since its founding more than a century ago, the American Petroleum Institute (API) has published more than 800 standards, comprehensive guides to enhance safety, efficiency and environmentally responsible industry practices.

Global Collaboration Fuels Progress in Oil and Natural Gas

As the world turns its collective focus toward energy security and environmental responsibility, international partnerships become essential for progress.

API’s Global Standards: The Building Blocks of Energy Security

While managing supply chain risks has always been a recurring boardroom concern, it took a global pandemic to underscore exactly what’s at stake when disruptions occur.

API Publishes Community and Stakeholder Engagement Standard for Upstream Operations

The American Petroleum Institute (API) today announced the publication of a community engagement standard for U.S. based upstream onshore operations.

New API Standard Outlines Best Practices for Public Engagement in Pipeline Construction & Operations

The American Petroleum Institute (API) today announced the publication of a pipeline public engagement standard that builds on industry’s progress and commitment to proactive, inclusive and collaborative engagement throughout the construction and operation of our nation’s pipelines.

The High Standards of Standards Development

Picture this: In the frigid, remote waters of the North Sea, an offshore oil rig faces a daunting challenge. A seal on a subsea control module has ruptured, grinding production to a halt. Repairing the module is relatively straightforward—that is, with an available replacement. The problem on this particular day: The rig is out of new seals, and the nearest replacement is thousands of miles away.

API's New Standard Sets Guidelines for Pipeline Public Engagement

Spanning over 500,000 miles collectively, liquid and gas transmission pipelines transport oil, natural gas, and petroleum products across the U.S., seamlessly and discreetly fueling our nation’s economy and way of life.


“On behalf of the members and staff of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), it is my pleasure to extend our warm congratulations to the American Petroleum Institute (API) in recognition of its 100th year of standards development.

ANSI applauds API for its many contributions to support the oil and gas industry through standardization over the past century. API has a laudable record of success as an ANSI-accredited standards developer and a demonstrated commitment to developing standards that enhance operational safety, environmental protection, and sustainability across the industry. In addition to API’s myriad of domestic activities, your impactful work extends to the advancement of API’s standards internationally. ANSI welcomes the continued opportunity for partnerships with API such as the successful Standards Alliance: Phase 2 project harmonizing West African petroleum standards. As well, we are grateful for API’s active and longstanding participation on ANSI’s Board of Directors and Executive Standards Council, through which API contributes to the greater standardization system in the U.S. and across the globe.

Congratulations on this exciting milestone. ANSI appreciates your many efforts in support of the standardization community.”

– Joe Bhatia – President and CEO, American National Standards Institute

"Congratulations to API on 100 years of standards setting in oil and gas! My first exposure to them was in 1981 when I designed centralizers and tested them to API Spec 10D. More lately, I've had the privilege of working with numerous API personnel helping manage development of many other standards and programs. Its always enjoyable to see the passion and excellence API brings to the industry. Well Done!"

– Austin Freeman – Owner – Freeman Professional Services, PLLC

“As a leader in the development of codes, standards, and conformity assessment, ASME congratulates the American Petroleum Institute for 100 years of outstanding service to the petroleum industry. API’s commitment to excellence continues to ensure high quality safety practices for workers, promotes technical integrity, and remains sensitive to the needs of our environment.”

– Thomas Costabile, P.E., ASME Fellow, Executive Director/CEO, American Society of Mechanical Engineers

“Sound technical standards enhance safety and quality while enabling our industry to codify the technical developments needed in a changing world. My deepest thanks and congratulations to API for their 100 years of leadership and collaboration that continues to foster innovation and best practices.”

– Graham Henley, CEO, IOGP


Hear from industry experts in these podcasts and webinars about API Standards, the accredited development process, how standards are applied, what the future of standards entails and more!


API standards are the foundation for API offerings for the natural gas and oil industry, including trainings, certifications and safety programs for global industry operations. Application of API standards in these ways helps the industry personnel keep operations safe and contributes to sustainability while providing energy to their surrounding communities and around the world.

Individual Certification Programs (ICP)

The Individual Certification Programs base exams and practices around API standards like API 570 and API RP 653, and provide the petroleum and petrochemical industries with an independent and unbiased way to evaluate the knowledge and experience of technical and inspection personnel.


Through multi-platform and multi-media eLearning, API’s Training Program offers comprehensive training developed by experts on API Standards and Recommended Practices.

API Monogram & APIQR

The API Monogram & APIQR programs register that companies’ products or services meet the qualifications found in API Specifications Q1 and Q2. Products with the Monogram mark meet API quality, interchangeability and reliability standards.

API’s Quality Registrar Program (APIQR) allows companies to register their management systems to API Q1, Q2, 18LCM and ISO.

Engine Oil Licensing Certification System (EOLCS)

Works in conjunction with vehicle and engine manufacturers, oil marketers and additive companies to develop engine oil performance standards to meet the needs of the modern engine. Look for the API mark when you purchase your next bottle of motor oil for gasoline and diesel engines which certifies its been manufactured to API specifications.

Process Safety Site Assessment Program (PSSAP®)

Through the use of industry developed protocols including some on API standards, the process safety site assessments evaluates both the quality of the written programs and the effectiveness of field implementation.

Pipeline Safety Management System (SMS) Assessments

This program primarily involves the assessment of an operator’s pipeline SMS by independent, credible, third-party teams of industry-qualified pipeline and safety management system expert assessors and references API standards like RP 1173.

Center for Offshore Safety

The Center for Offshore Safety (COS) supports companies involved in oil and natural gas industry operations to develop, implement and improve their Safety and Environmental Management Systems, using API Recommended Practice 75 as a basis for these efforts.