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API Std 53 - Blowout Prevention Equipment Systems for Drilling Wells

Standard Edition Section Inquiry # Question Reply Last update: August 12, 2015
The cost of NDE/NDT inspection of some fasteners outweigh the cost to replace with
new. Since this is the case, many equipment owners and OEMs elect to replace many
types of fasteners based on visual inspection or time in service instead of paying to
inspect them. In the majority of cases, the OEM does not describe acceptance criteria
4th Edition,
53 4.3.6 53-10-17 for used fasteners.
Nov. 2012

Does it meet the intent of 4.3.6 if the type of bolt NDE identified by an equipment
owner’s PM program is visual and bolts are replaced based on visual appearance, Yes.
torque checks and/or time in service?

Reply 1: Yes.
Question 1: In reference to API Standard 53 requirement 4.4.3, are pressure- It has been noted that there are requirements within the standard
energized ring gaskets required for Surface BOP Choke Manifolds? (4.4.3 & 6.2.2.2) that are not requirements within the equipment
design specifications.
4th Edition,
53 4.4.3 53-01-16
Nov. 2012 Reply 2: This question falls outside the scope of S53 and does not
Question 2: Is API 6A, 16A and 16C considering change to the design requirements
meet the requirements for submitting a technical inquiry. You may
based on the exclusion of non-pressure energized ring gaskets in API Standard 53
consider submitting your question directly to each of the task groups
4.4.3?
for the documents you reference in the question.

Is the scope of API Standard 53, Section 6 meant to cover BOPs which are associated No, the scope of 53 includes BOP systems on land and marine
4th Edition,
53 Section 6 53-15-17 with Snubbing Units and Hydraulic Workover Units, in addition to those which are drilling rigs, but the definition of BOP (3.1.9) excludes
Nov. 2012
located on Drilling Rigs? workover/intervention control packages and snubbing packages.

No; a Class 5 surface BOP stack arrangement must contain five


Referring to Section 6.1.2.12, can a surface BOP stack arrangement with one annular,
4th Edition, devices at a minimum. The stack must contain one annular, one blind
53 6.1.2.12 53-03-15 one blind shear ram, and two pipe rams, with the fifth device being optional, be
Nov. 2012 shear ram, two pipe rams, and the fifth device can be an annular or
considered a Class 5 stack arrangement?
pipe ram.

With regards to API STD 53, I am seeking further clarification as to whether a by-pass
line is required on a surface BOP choke and kill manifold. Section 6.2 which refers to
the general scope of a choke and kill does not mention a by-pass line. The sizing is
4th Edition,
53 6.2 53-05-15 mentioned in considerations and the by-pass lines are also indicated on the
Nov. 2012
examples.

But I interpret examples and considerations as not mandatory. Is this correct? Yes, the bleed line (line that by-passes the chokes) is optional.

4th Edition, Is this bleed line (that bypasses the chokes) a mandatory line to have on a surface
53 6.2 53-06-15 No, the bleed line (line that by-passes the chokes) is optional.
Nov. 2012 choke and kill manifold???

4th Edition,
53 6.2 53-07-15 Can you please advise if a by-pass line is require on surface choke and kill manifolds. No, the bleed line (line that by-passes the chokes) is optional.
Nov. 2012

Page 1 of 27
API Std 53 - Blowout Prevention Equipment Systems for Drilling Wells
Standard Edition Section Inquiry # Question Reply Last update: August 12, 2015

Minimum nominal inside diameter (ID) for lines downstream of the chokes shall be
equal to or greater than the nominal connection size of the choke inlet and outlet.

Question 1: The way this is written; it is conceivable that you could have a 4-1/16” Reply 1: Yes
line entering the choke & kill manifold; reducing to 3-1/16” at choke bore inlet and
then maintain 3-1/16” downstream of chokes.
Do you concur?
4th Edition,
53 6.2.2.4 53-02-16
Nov. 2012
Reply 2: Unfortunately, the question you have asked is not in a
format that is acceptable for developing a response. Specifically,
API only addresses questions phrased in the form such that the
Question 2: Why is it API concern if an operator wants to have a 2-1/16” outlet after
answer is “yes” or “no”. Please review the guidance for submitting
the buffer tank to go to strip tank, etc?
questions to API at:
http://mycommittees.api.org/standards/techinterp/transpipe/default.a
spx

Regarding para 6.2.2.4 This paragraph states “Minimum nominal inside diameter (ID)
The lines downstream of the chokes utilized to flow well fluids during
4th Edition, for lines downstream of the chokes shall be equal to or greater than the nominal
53 6.2.2.4 53-11-16 well control operations shall maintain the minimum nominal ID until
Nov. 2012 connection size of the choke inlet and outlet.” This paragraph does not state how far
it enters the next system (mud gas separator, overboard line, etc.).
downstream the piping needs to comply with this.

Question 1: Regarding the choke on a choke manifold, some rig contractors give the
Answer 1: Yes. NOTE: This requirement was not intended to restrict
ID as the effective flow area of the choke trim. Does the “nominal connection size of
using a 3” line with a 3 1/16” connection. This will be clarified in the
the choke inlet and outlet” in 6.2.2.4 actually refer to the ID of the flanges on the inlet
next edition of the Standard.
and outlet of the choke body and not that of the choke trim?

Question 2: 6.2.2.4: Does the “minimum nominal inside diameter for lines downstream
of the choke” refer to the components on the choke manifold (valves, spool pipe, etc)
Answer 2: Yes, 6.2.2.4 refers to lines downstream of the choke within
as opposed to the lines downstream of the choke manifold? If the answer to this
the choke manifold.
question is “No”, then it is unclear whether there are any requirements regarding the
4th Edition,
53 6.2.2.4 53-03-18 ID of the choke manifold components.
Nov. 2012

Question 3: 6.2.3.2.2 (a): Does the “minimum size for choke lines” refer to the lines Answer 3: No, 6.2.3.2.2 specifically covers the ‘choke line’
upstream and downstream of the choke manifold? requirements, which are upstream of the choke manifold.

Answer 4: Yes. NOTE: This requirement was not intended to restrict


Question 4: 6.2.3.2.2 (a): Does the “minimum size for choke lines” refer to the ID of
using a 3” line with a 3 1/16” connection. This will be clarified in the
the line?
next edition of the Standard.

Page 2 of 27
API Std 53 - Blowout Prevention Equipment Systems for Drilling Wells
Standard Edition Section Inquiry # Question Reply Last update: August 12, 2015
Internal discussions have been held in regards to the intent of the statement "direct
the flow path and to isolate a failure or malfunction of the buffer tank" with 2 different
interpretations of the requirement: 1) This demands that it be a 'split buffer tank' to
isolate and redirect the flow, or 2) The flow path can be redirected via an overboard,
line into the MGS, split buffer tank, etc. It is not limited to just the split buffer tank
4th Edition, option.
53 6.2.2.5 53-02-17
Nov. 2012

Is the requirement a line that redirects to overboard, or the MGS (as examples)
Yes. There is no requirement for a split buffer tank.
meeting the intent of the requirement, and not just requiring a split buffer chamber?

Background: A drilling contractor has a well control system with BOPs, choke and
kill manifolds rated at 10,000 psi. The equipment is being used on a 5000 psi well
head. The choke manifold has one remote operated drilling choke.
4th Edition, 6.2.2.8
53 53-14-14 Question 1: Referencing 6.2.2.8 and 6.2.2.9, is it correct that the equipment is Reply 1: API 53 does not address de-rating. For the specific well
Nov. 2012 6.2.2.9
technically de rated to 5000 psi for the wellhead? mentioned in this question, the equipment can only be tested to 5000
psi (see 6.5.3.2.6).

Question 2: Is only one remote operated choke is required? Reply 2: Yes

10K WP choke manifold with two remote chokes and one manual choke. Section
6.2.2 outlines the requirements for a Surface BOP choke manifold. It doesn't mention
in that section that two valves are required up stream of a remote or manual choke. Yes, two valves are required on the outlet of the BOP or drilling
4th Edition, Yet figure 3 shows an example 10K WP choke and it has 2 valves up stream of the spool, upstream of the remotely operated chokes per 6.2.2.7.
53 Figure 3 53-16-17
Nov. 2012 remote operated or adjustable choke NOTE: Figure 3 is an example choke manifold and may include items
that are not requirements of the document.
Does this mean it is a requirement to have two valves up stream of a remote operated
or adjustable choke? Or is it just a recommendation?

As per Clause 6.2.1.3 a manifold shall have two adjustable chokes. As per clause
6.2.2.9 a minimum of two remotely operated chokes shall be installed on 10K or
greater pressured choke manifold. which leads to think there should four chokes two
manually adjustable & two remotely adjustable. Where as in figure 3, it shows two
chokes only and it is optional for each choke could be adjustable or remotely Answer 1: Yes.
operated. If I go along with figure 3 and pick both chokes adjustable then it
contradicts the clause 6.2.2.9.
Figure 3
4th Edition, Question 1. Adjustable choke could be adjusted remotely or manually, is this true?
53 6.2.1.3 53-17-17
Nov. 2012
6.2.2.9

Page 3 of 27
Figure 3
4th Edition,
53
Nov. 2012
6.2.1.3 53-17-17 API Std 53 - Blowout Prevention Equipment Systems for Drilling Wells
Standard Edition 6.2.2.9
Section Inquiry # Question Reply Last update: August 12, 2015

Question 2. 10K and above manifold can have total two remotely operated chokes
only and do not need two more manually adjustable chokes per clause 6.2.2.9, is this Answer 2: Yes.
true?

Question 3. Can I overlook figure 3 in configuring choke manifold layout based on


Answer 3: Yes, Figure 3 is an example.
customer requirements?

Referencing 6.2.3, there are some cases where we can't have a straight exit lines after
4th Edition, buffer chamber at choke manifold because of the position or space to flare pits on the
53 6.2.3 53-12-14 See 6.4.11 for vent line recommendations.
Nov. 2012 rig's location. Following the recommendations that we have for choke and kill bends,
can we use that for the choke manifold exit lines before buffer chamber?

4th Edition, Referring to Section 6.2.3.2.2, can you please clarify further the meaning of the size The intent is that the pipe ID be as close as practical to the ID of the
53 6.2.3.2.2 53-02-14
Nov. 2012 range shown and your interpretation of nominal diameter? valves.

Background: When a piece of equipment is built to an API equipment specification it


complies with the specification at the time it was built. If it is repaired or
This intepretation has been rendered invalid as a result of publication of
remanufactured, it may be brought up to the latest edition of the equipment
specification if possible. Therefore, in service equipment on a rig may not comply
with all of the requirements of the latest edition of the relevant equipment
API S53, 4th Edition, Addendum 1 in July 2016. Therefore this interpretation
specification.
The intent is that compliance with the normative references applies
6.3.1.1 API 53, Section 2 (Normative References), states “For undated references (no date
53 has been withdrawn as a result of these updated requirements.
4th Edition,
Nov. 2012
7.3.1.1
7.4.1.1
53-01-13 included in the listing), the latest edition of the referenced document applies”.
Sections 6.3.1.1, 7.3.1.1, and 7.4.1.1 state “Control systems for subsea BOP stacks
at the time the rig is built and/or the BOP system or components are
installed. This can also be affected by a contractual agreement or
regulatory requirements.
shall be designed, manufactured, and installed in accordance with API 16D”. API 53
also states in various sections that you shall meet API 16D, Method A, B, or C for
precharge calculations, which is calling out a specific requirement of API 16D.

Question: Do Sections 6.3.1.1, 7.3.1.1, and 7.4.1.1 require in-service control systems
to always be 100% in compliance with the latest API 16D, or are these sections
referring only to specific requirements of 16D like the precharge?

Section 6.2.3.2.2 a) advises what the minimum nominal I.D. for choke lines by
4th Edition, No; 4-inch up to, but not including 7 1/16-inch. bore equipment, is not
53 6.2.3.2.2 53-09-13 pressure rating only. For pressure rated systems 10K and above, is a 3 in. nominal
Nov. 2012 addressed in API 53 or API 16A.
I.D. choke line required for 4-inch. and 7-inch. through-bore BOP equipment?

Page 4 of 27
API Std 53 - Blowout Prevention Equipment Systems for Drilling Wells
Standard Edition Section Inquiry # Question Reply Last update: August 12, 2015

Section 7.2.2.11 states "The bleed line (if installed, the line that bypasses the chokes)
shall be..." Section 6.2.3.2.2.b states "The bleed line (the line that bypasses the
chokes) shall be...". It does not contain the "if installed" language, but it is sub-
4th Edition, No, the bleed line (line that by-passes the chokes) is optional
53 6.2.3.2.2.b 53-08-16 headed under 6.2.3.2 Other Considerations for Choke Lines.
Nov. 2012 (reference previous interpretations 53-05-15, 53-06-15 and 53-07-15).
Is a bleed line to bypass the choke lines REQUIRED on choke manifold assemblies on
surface BOP installations?

Yes; the intent of 6.3.5.4 and 6.3.5.5 is to conduct the test at pre-
Is API 53, Sections 6.3.5.4 and 6.3.5.5 saying that the pumps need to be checked on
4th Edition, deployment, initial latch-up, and not-to-exceed six months. Any other
53 6.3.5 53-12-13 the initial test and the subsequent tests, only on the initial test, or only when the
Nov. 2012 testing is at the discretion of the equipment owner or other
equipment owner’s PM program requires it?
applicable requirements that fall outside of API 53.

The intent was that it is placed outside of the drill floor. Reference
3.1.25
Clarification on the wording for "rig substructure" in 6.3.6.1 and 7.3.5.14.
4th Edition, drill floor substructure
53 6.3.6.1 53-28-16 Please provide clarification in regards to the meaning of "rig substructure" when
Nov. 2012 The foundation structure(s) on which the derrick, rotary table,
talking about where to put the hydraulic control unit.
drawworks, and other drilling equipment are supported.

A drilling contractor has a new rig with a subsea MUX stack and subsea conventional
stack (for weight on older wellheads). They have stated that the drape hose are below
the moonpool and that the shielding is more for wave motion than fire rating. The Keep in mind that API 16D is the specification for control systems;
moon pool conduit lines are hard pipe. do not confuse the requirements of API 16D with those of API 16C

This intepretation has been rendered invalid as a result of publication of (choke and kill systems). Additionally, Section 6.3.11.2.5 applies only
Sections 6.3.11.2.5, 7.3.13.2.5, 7.4.8.2.5, and 7.3.13.2.5 are ambiguous with respect to to surface BOP’s.
the requirement of fire retardant hoses. It is our understanding that the requirement in

API S53, 4th Edition, Addendum 1 in July 2016. Therefore this interpretation
53
4th Edition,
6.3.11.2.5
7.3.13.2.5
53-03-13
7.3.13.2.5 takes precedence and hence the hoses should not be fire retardant. The intent in API 53 is to provide a weak link between the control
system and the BOP because the fire retardant properties would be
Nov. 2012 7.4.8.2.5 The note in Std 53 indicates that the API requirement assumes that a fire in the counter to the intended purpose of the emergency system. Since

has been withdrawn as a result of these updated requirements and


7.3.13.2.5 moonpool would burn out the conduit hoses and hence trigger the deadman system if there are many vessel designs in operation it is not practical to have
the electrical signals are also lost. For our deepwater semis however, it is not likely a different option for each. Sections 7.3.18 and 7.3.19 require floating
that the hoses are affected by a fire in the moonpool as the hoses are hanging below rigs to have an autoshear and deadman respectively, therefore
replaced with the following interpretation.
bottom box of the rig. There is no requirement in the API of how short time the hose
should sustain a fire, and hence the design will not be a proper form of weak link
should be interpreted as: “Rigid conduit and hot line supply hoses
between the control system and the BOP shall NOT be fire
design. retardant”.
Can you clarify if a fire retarded hose for the conduit line and hot line will fulfil the
requirements in Std 53?

Page 5 of 27
API Std 53 - Blowout Prevention Equipment Systems for Drilling Wells
Standard Edition Section Inquiry # Question Reply Last update: August 12, 2015

A drilling contractor has a new rig with a subsea MUX stack and subsea conventional
stack (for weight on older wellheads). They have stated that the drape hose are below
the moonpool and that the shielding is more for wave motion than fire rating. The
moon pool conduit lines are hard pipe.
Section 6.3.11.2.5 applies only to surface BOP’s.
Sections 6.3.11.2.5, 7.3.13.2.5, 7.4.8.2.5, and 7.3.13.2.5 are ambiguous with respect to
the requirement of fire retardant hoses. It is our understanding that the requirement in
API 53 is making the fire retardant requirement of API 16D not
6.3.11.2.5 7.3.13.2.5 takes precedence and hence the hoses should not be fire retardant.
required for the control lines and hot line supply between the control
4th Edition, 7.3.13.2.5
53 53-03-13 system and BOP. The intent is to provide a weak link between the
Nov. 2012 7.4.8.2.5 The note in Std 53 indicates that the API requirement assumes that a fire in the
control system and the BOP because the fire retardant properties
7.3.13.2.5 moonpool would burn out the conduit hoses and hence trigger the deadman system if
would be counter to the intended purpose of the emergency system.
the electrical signals are also lost. For our deepwater semis however, it is not likely
Since there are many vessel designs in operation it is not practical to
that the hoses are affected by a fire in the moonpool as the hoses are hanging below
have a different option for each.
bottom box of the rig. There is no requirement in the API of how short time the hose
should sustain a fire, and hence the design will not be a proper form of weak link
design.
Can you clarify if a fire retarded hose for the conduit line and hot line will fulfil the
requirements in Std 53?

This intepretation has been rendered invalid as a result of publication of


API S53, 4th Edition, Addendum 1 in July 2016. Therefore this interpretation
53
4th Edition,
6.3.8 53-16-14
In reference to 6.3.8 on response time and 7.6.5.1.1 on function tests, if a system
includes a high pressure shear circuit (used for emergencies) and a regulated shear
circuit, which circuit should be used to determine if closing times are met, the high
Response times shall be met by at least one of the surface/subsea
Nov. 2012 power circuits. See 6.3.8.4, 7.3.10.4, and 7.4.6.5.4.
has been superceded as a result of these updated requirements and
pressure shear circuit that would be used in a well control event, or, the regulated
circuit with lower pressure?

In reference to 6.3.8 on response time and 7.6.5.1.1 on function tests, if a system


includes a high pressure shear circuit (used for emergencies) and a regulated shear
4th Edition, Response times shall be met by at least one of the surface/subsea
53 6.3.8 53-16-14 circuit, which circuit should be used to determine if closing times are met, the high
Nov. 2012 fluid supplies. See 6.3.8.4, 7.3.10.4, and 7.4.6.5.4.
pressure shear circuit that would be used in a well control event, or, the regulated
circuit with lower pressure?

On page 33 of the standard under 6.5.2.2.1 is stated "Inspection practices and


procedures vary and are outside the scope of this document."
Question 1: Does API have a document that states the frequency of inspections Reply 1: Yes, API Standard 53 discusses frequency of inspections,
4th Edition, performed? but not the practices and procedures. For surface BOP systems see
53 6.5.2.2.1 53-03-16
Nov. 2012 Section 6.5.7.

Page 6 of 27
53
4th Edition,
6.5.2.2.1 53-03-16 API Std 53 - Blowout Prevention Equipment Systems for Drilling Wells
Standard Nov. 2012
Edition Section Inquiry # Question Reply Last update: August 12, 2015

Question 2: Or a document that goes in depth as to what level of service is required


Reply 2: No.
for Onshore BOPs?

Referring to Table 2 and Table 3 in 6.5.3, do the terms "upstream and downstream"
4th Edition, Section 6.5.3.2.13 requires valves that are required to seal against
53 6.5.3 53-01-14 mean that the pressure test must be carried out in both directions (bi-direction) on all
Nov. 2012 flow from both directions be tested from both directions.
the valves?

BOPE should be pressure tested with low pressure and then high pressure. API 53
doesn't clarify if it low pressure must be bled off before we conduct high pressure
Yes, it is allowable to increase to the high pressure test immediately
4th Edition, test.
53 6.5.3.2 53-14-16 following the low pressure test (250 psi to 350 psi) without bleeding
Nov. 2012
the test pressure off.
Can we, without bleeding off low pressure, increase the pressure from 200 psi to high
pressure value and conduct the test in this way?

All blow out prevention components than can be exposed to well pressure shall be
tested first to a low pressure between 250psi to 350 psi and then to a high pressure.

4th Edition,
53 6.5.3.2 53-03-17 Question 1: Should the high pressure test be conducted immediately after the low Reply 1: Yes, it should be tested in a reasonable time frame
Nov. 2012
pressure test? following a successful low pressure test.

Question 2: Can the pressure be bled off to zero after the low pressure test before Reply 2: Yes, provided the component being tested is not cycled
proceeding to the high pressure test? after the low pressure test.

Do the ram preventers and Annular preventer require Pressure Testing each time
4th Edition,
53 6.5.3.4 53-07-16 before the equipment is put into operational service on the wellhead if it has not Yes.
Nov. 2012
exceeded intervals of 21 days.

We are seeking a clarification of Section 6.5.3.4.1. Our drilling rig is skidding about
4th Edition, every six to seven days and our operator is asking us to only do a connection test on No; all of the items listed in 6.5.3.4.1 shall be followed to be in
53 6.5.3.4.1 53-05-13
Nov. 2012 our BOP stack every time we nipple up to start drilling the new well, but we won’t be compliance with API 53.
exceeding the 21 day maximum required to test the BOP stack. Is this acceptable?

If a lease/pad contained 5 wells ready for a completion rig to conduct work, would it
4th Edition, be a requirement to perform a full BOP test on each Well (Broken connections,
53 6.5.3.4.1 53-05-16 Yes.
Nov. 2012 Hardlines, Pipe Rams, Blind Rams, Annular) upon installation of the BOP to each
Wellhead, if the previous BOP test was still within 21 days.

Page 7 of 27
API Std 53 - Blowout Prevention Equipment Systems for Drilling Wells
Standard Edition Section Inquiry # Question Reply Last update: August 12, 2015

The operator has asked for reduction in Pressure Testing Operations. Section 3.1.59 -
The periodic application of pressure to a piece of equipment or a system to verify the
4th Edition, pressure containment capability for the equipment of system.
53 6.5.3.4.1 53-06-16 Yes, 6.5.3.4.1 provides the frequency for pressure testing.
Nov. 2012
Does this mean all ram preventers and Annular preventer must be pressure tested
every time the BOP is installed on a wellhead?

Reply 1: Yes, this gauge may be analog or digital. If a data


Question 1: Do we need a gage with our digital recorder (12” circular) for testing
acquisition system is utilized, a gauge would not be required
purposes?
(6.5.3.6.1).
4th Edition,
53 6.5.3.6 53-19-16
Nov. 2012 Question 2: Or do need just the digital recorder? Reply 2: No.

Question 3: If the answer to Question 1 is “yes”, do we need to calibrate both of


Reply 3: Yes.
them?

Background: Section 6.5.3.6.2 states analog pressure measurements shall be made


at not less than 25% and not more than 75% of the full pressure span of the gauge. We
currently have chart recorder with a range of 30,000 psi and would like to perform
pressure test of 3,000 psi, which represent 10% of the maximum range of our chart
recorder. These tests are to perform integrity test of our operating chambers of
various equipment’s. Our customer refers to Section 6.5.3.6.2 regarding the pressure Yes, only if the chart recorder is electronic (e.g. uses a pressure
4th Edition,
53 6.5.3.6.2 53-08-13 test and does not want to pursue the test and require replacement of the chart transducer), and the test pressures are within the manufacturer’s
Nov. 2012
recorder. specified range, it conforms to API 53.

Question: If I refer to section 6.5.3.6.3 which states electronic pressure gauges and
chart recorder or data acquisition systems shall be used within the manufacturer’s
specified range, am I still operating within range?

For some annular BOPs, the OEM recommended working pressure for the packing
element varies according to the pipe/mandrel size. For example, an 18 3/4" annular
BOP with a 10K RWP, may have an element with a working pressure of 10K on 6 5/8"
pipe, 7.5K on a 5 1/2" pipe, and 5K on a 5" pipe. With the annular having a RWP of
10K, 70% of RWP is 7K. This could be used for the 6 5/8" pipe and the 5 1/2" pipe, but,
cannot be used on 5" pipe that has a maximum working pressure of 5K.
4th Edition, Table 3
53 53-01-17
Nov. 2012 Table 10 Question 1: If an annular BOP has a RWP of 10K and has a packing element with a Reply 1: With the configuration of the annular element and pipe
working pressure of 7500 psi for 5 1/2" pipe is being tested prior to drilling a hole installed, the annular should be tested to a minumum of 70% of 7,500
section using a 5 1/2" pipe, should it be pressure tested to 7000 psi (70% of 10K)? psi (5,250 psi) or MAWHP for the hole section.

Page 8 of 27
4th Edition, Table 3
53 53-01-17
Nov. 2012 Table 10

API Std 53 - Blowout Prevention Equipment Systems for Drilling Wells


Standard Edition Section Inquiry # Question Reply Last update: August 12, 2015
Reply 2: With the configuration of the annular element and pipe
Question 2: If the same annular BOP has the same element with a 5000 psi rating on
installed, the annular should be tested to a minumum of 70% of 5,000
5" pipe, should it be tested at 5000 psi on a 5" pipe?
psi (3,500 psi) or MAWHP for the hole section.

Question: At what frequency shall the electrical power to the UPS and the rig air be
4th Edition, isolated: A frequency for this test is not defined. This will be clarified in the
53 6.5.3.8.8 53-16-16
Nov. 2012 • Each function test? next edition of Standard 53.
• Or prior to operations?

4th Edition, In reference to API Standard 53 requirements in 6.5.4.3 and 6.5.4.5, is the smallest OD
53 6.5.4 53-02-15 No; see 6.1.2.2 a).
Nov. 2012 pipe to include tubulars that are considered part of the bottom hole assembly?

Question 1. Is this section implying that the subsequent testing is required only at Answer 1: No, this requirement is only specifying when to conduct a
each casing point or in accordance with the equipment owners PM? or choke drill.

4th Edition,
53 6.5.5.4 53-18-17
Nov. 2012
Answer 2: The choke drill shall be performed:
1. at initial BOP installation, subsequent BOP testing and at each
Question 2. Does this section imply that the choke drill is to be performed at every
casing point
BOP test after the initial test?
or
2. in accordance with equipment owner's PM program

After the initial pressure test is completed, all bolts shall then be rechecked for proper
torque.
4th Edition, 6.5.8.2.6 Request clarification on all bolts. Currently, common practice is to re-check torque 7.6.9.5.6 and 6.5.8.2.6 were intended to be completed on newly made
53 53-23-16
Nov. 2012 7.6.9.5.6 only on the disassembled component(s) after the initial pressure test. Torque is not re- up connections.
checked on components that were not disassembled.

This section refers to assemblies.


Reply 1: This section provides requirements for assemblies.
Question 1: Are the requirements intended for individual parts as well?

Question 2: If yes, that makes sense.


4th Edition, If it only means assemblies, that leads to two follow up questions.
53 6.5.8.3 53-13-16
Nov. 2012 a) what constitutes an assembly? Reply 2a: Assemblies are defined by the equipment manufacturer.
(ie: if I sell you a ram block by itself that’s a part, but If I ship it with the seals installed
is that an assembly??)

b) What requirements exist around single replacement parts? I don’t see them
Reply 2b: See 6.1.4.4 and 7.1.4.4.
mentioned separately elsewhere.

Page 9 of 27
API Std 53 - Blowout Prevention Equipment Systems for Drilling Wells
Standard Edition Section Inquiry # Question Reply Last update: August 12, 2015

API has flange specifications that allow end connections from different manufactures
to be bolted together. The loose equipment that makes up an API flanged connection
then may be supplied by either manufacture or neither in some cases ( studs, nuts,
and gaskets). Note that 6A 3rd Ed 7.5.2 does not require the manufacturers to retain
records for studs, nuts, or gaskets.
4th Edition, Yes, use of equipment from an API licensed manufacturer is not
53 7.1.4.4 53-13-17
Nov. 2012 mandatory for conformance to the standard.
Excluding well head end connections, if an equipment owner purchases and installs
monogrammed API gaskets, and studs and nuts stamped and manufactured in
accordance with 6A and 20E requirements for the API flange size ( i.2 B7/L7 and 2H +
20E requirements) from an API licensed manufacturer different than the equipment or
flange manufacturer, will the owner be in compliance with this section?

Background: Section 7.2.2.18 states, “The choke control station shall include all
instruments necessary to furnish an overview of the well control operations. This The choke control station in this section (and 6.2.2.18 as well) is
includes the ability to monitor and control such items as standpipe pressure, casing intended to be the same as a drilling choke control console system
pressure, and monitor pump strokes, etc.” as defined in API 16C, Section 10.9, i.e. the function of the remote
4th Edition, hydraulic choke control system is to provide reliable control of the
53 7.2.2.18 53-04-14
Nov. 2012 Question: Does 7.2.2.18 require the stations where the manual chokes will be drilling choke from one or more remote locations with the sensitivity
controlled (i.e. at the choke manifold) to have the instruments necessary for carrying and resolution required to perform all well control procedures that
out the well control operations such as the drill pipe pressure gauge, casing pressure, the choke valve is designed to provide. It is not the intent to require
and pump stroke counter? pump stroke counters on a manual choke.

Page 10 of 27
API Std 53 - Blowout Prevention Equipment Systems for Drilling Wells
Standard Edition Section Inquiry # Question Reply Last update: August 12, 2015

Background: Section 7.2.3.1.1 states "... flow targets or fluid cushions shall be used
at short radius bends, on block ells, and tees." Section 7.2.3.1.2 states "Short radius
pipe bends (R/d < 10) shall be targeted or have fluid cushions installed in the direction
of expected flow or in both directions if bidirectional flow is expected,..." For subsea
BOP Stacks, it is common practice to use short radius bends (or kickouts) at the riser
This intepretation has been rendered invalid as a result of publication of
termination adapter and directly above the choke/kill test (or Isolation) Valves on the
LMRP. These kickouts would be connected to the choke/kill flexible hoses or flex
loops. Due to space restrictions on the stack, these kickouts do not have a fluid
API S53, 4th Edition, Addendum 1 in July 2016. Therefore this interpretation
cushion/target located directly "at" the bend. Instead, the cushion/target is generally
located at the end of the choke or kill line when the flow changes direction at the

has been withdrawn as a result of these updated requirements and


4th Edition, lowermost well control valves. The choke/kill pipework from the kickout to the lowest
53 7.2.3.1.1 53-11-13
Nov. 2012 valve is made as straight as possible for this run.

replaced with the following interpretation.


Question 1: Does a fluid cushion flange installed at the lowest well control valve
(leading into the wellbore below the lowest choke or kill ram) meet the requirement of
7.2.3.1.1 for "shall be used at short radius bends"?
Reply1: Yes.

Question 2: Is it required to have a cushion/target directly at a short radius bend?


Reply 2: Yes.
Question 3: Can the cushion/target be further down the choke/kill piping, if no 90°
changes in direction are made between the short radius bend and the cushion/target
(as stated in 7.2.3.1.2)? Reply 3: No.

Question 1: Does a fluid cushion flange installed at the lowest well control valve
(leading into the wellbore below the lowest choke or kill ram) meet the requirement of Reply1: Yes.
7.2.3.1.1 for "shall be used at short radius bends"?
4th Edition,
53 7.2.3.1.1 53-11-13
Nov. 2012

Reply 2: No, but if R/D<10, the equipment owner’s PM program shall


Question 2: Is it required to have a cushion/target directly at a short radius bend? include an inspection for erosion at the pipe bends at least every two
years.

Page 11 of 27
API Std 53 - Blowout Prevention Equipment Systems for Drilling Wells
Standard Edition Section Inquiry # Question Reply Last update: August 12, 2015

This intepretation has been rendered invalid as a result of publication of


53
API S53, 4th Edition, Addendum 1 in July 2016. Therefore this
4th Edition,
7.2.3.1.1 53-11-14
Is it acceptable to use a special 90 degree elbow with a thickness more than 10 mm
No; the standard does not currently allow this alternative.
Nov. 2012 greater than the straight pipe instead of target block?

interpretation has been superceded as a result of these updated


requirements and replaced with the following interpreation.
Yes, with the provision that the equipment owner’s PM program
4th Edition, Is it acceptable to use a special 90 degree elbow with a thickness more than 10 mm
53 7.2.3.1.1 53-11-14 include an inspection for erosion at the pipe bends at least every two
Nov. 2012 greater than the straight pipe instead of target block?
years.

This intepretation has been rendered invalid as a result of publication of


Referencing 7.2.3.1.2, for short radius bends (R/d < 10), ninety-degree block ells, and
API S53, 4th Edition, Addendum 1 in July 2016. Therefore this interpretation
53
4th Edition,
7.2.3.1.2 53-05-14
tees, can the fluid cushions requirement be replaced with annual inspection of wall
thickness and or internal bore scoping since there is no past failure existing in these No; API 53 does not currently allow alternatives to fluid cushions
Nov. 2012

has been withdrawn as a result of these updated requirements.


components and provided the component wall thickness and internal surface
condition remain intact?

This intepretation has been rendered invalid as a result of publication of


Is it the intent of 7.2.3.1.2, that the flex loops on the LMRP, mainly the area directly
API S53, 4th Edition, Addendum 1 in July 2016. Therefore this interpretation
53
4th Edition,
7.2.3.1.2 53-10-14
under the kick-outs on the riser adapter, and the riser adapters themselves have
either large radius bends or targeted ells? Typically on many BOPs, the first bend in The requirement is written such that it covers the flex loops and riser
Nov. 2012 the flex loop, as you come out of the riser adapter and begin spiraling down the flex adapter kick-out subs.
has been withdrawn as a result of these updated requirements and replaced
loop, is a bend that has a radius less than 10 times the ID of the choke or kill pipe.
Also the riser adapter is typically supplied with short radius bend kick-outs.

with the following interpretation.

Page 12 of 27
API Std 53 - Blowout Prevention Equipment Systems for Drilling Wells
Standard Edition Section Inquiry # Question Reply Last update: August 12, 2015

Is it the intent of 7.2.3.1.2, that the flex loops on the LMRP, mainly the area directly
under the kick-outs on the riser adapter, and the riser adapters themselves have
Yes. When R/d > 10 is not possible, the equipment owner’s PM
4th Edition, either large radius bends or targeted ells? Typically on many BOPs, the first bend in
53 7.2.3.1.2 53-10-14 program shall include an inspection for erosion at the pipe bends at
Nov. 2012 the flex loop, as you come out of the riser adapter and begin spiraling down the flex
least every two years.
loop, is a bend that has a radius less than 10 times the ID of the choke or kill pipe.
Also the riser adapter is typically supplied with short radius bend kick-outs.

Item 7.2.3.1.2 states that short radius bends on choke and kill lines must be targeted
or have fluid cushion to minimize erosion
Reply 1: No, there are no design requirements for the fluid cushion.
Question 1: Is there any requirement for the length of the cushion zone?

4th Edition,
53 7.2.3.1.2 53-21-16 Reply 2: As there is no choke or kill fluid cushion design
Nov. 2012 Question 2: Would be acceptable a length of 4 inches, or equal to pipe internal
requirements within Std 53, this committee cannot answer this
diameter, whichever is higher?
question.

Reply 3: As there is no choke or kill fluid cushion design


Question 3: Is it acceptable to use fluid cushion made of pipes welded perpendicularly
requirements within Std 53, this committee cannot answer this
instead of a block?
question.

Page 13 of 27
API Std 53 - Blowout Prevention Equipment Systems for Drilling Wells
Standard Edition Section Inquiry # Question Reply Last update: August 12, 2015

Background: Regarding Section 7.2.3.2.9, I would like to address the issue of the 12
inch spools between the choke and kill valve bodies and the BOP body. The spool
pieces were originally added by the manufacturer to extend the position of the choke
and kill bodies away from the BOP. This added length prevented damage to the valves

This intepretation has been rendered invalid as a result of publication of


and BOP bonnet doors during maintenance. Without the spool pieces the doors could
not be opened fully, thus adding the potential to damage the door face during ram
block installation and removal. Since the original design of the BOP the manufacturer

API S53, 4th Edition, Addendum 1 in July 2016. Therefore this interpretation
has manufactured an extended neck valve body design. But, it must be noted there
are problems with this design. With the addition of a welded spool to the valve body
alignment becomes critical. If the welded extension is not square to the flange and to
API does not grant deviations to the requirements stated in its
standard; we can only issue interpretations in response to questions
53 has been superceded as a result of these updated requirements.
4th Edition,
Nov. 2012
7.2.3.2.9 53-10-13
the valve body, proper alignment can never be achieved. This also adds the
probability that the valves are no longer interchangeable within the system. Example;
if the lower inner and outer choke body is prepared and fitted in place; potentially it
concerning the meaning of the requirements. Your comments have
been forwarded to the task group responsible for API 53 for
consideration as a future revision to the standard.
could not be moved to a different valve position without remanufacturing the
associated choke and kill pipework. If the valve in fact is moved to a different position
and the original pipework is utilized, it could allow the associated flanges to be out of
position and over stressed after installation. We believe the use of the short spools is
the better solution, and reduces the exposure to leak via a ring gasket, due to
possible over stress of the flange connections, if a valve is replaced.

Question: We request an interpretation of API 53 to allow the use of spools between


the BOP and choke and kill valves.

This intepretation has been rendered invalid as a result of publication of


API S53, 4th Edition, Addendum 1 in July 2016. Therefore this interpretation
4th Edition,
Is the intent of Clause 7.2.3.2.9 to prohibit a properly designed spacer spool between
Yes; API 53 does not allow for use of spools between the BOP outlet
53 7.2.3.2.9 53-14-13 the BOP outlet on the body and the failsafe valves and spacer spools for the drill-
Nov. 2012
has been withdrawn as a result of these updated requirements.
and the choke and kill valves.
through and all of the choke and kill lines on the stack are spools)?

This intepretation has been rendered invalid as a result of publication of

Page 14 of 27
API Std 53 - Blowout Prevention Equipment Systems for Drilling Wells
Standard Edition Section Inquiry # Question Reply Last update: August 12, 2015

This intepretation has been rendered invalid as a result of publication of


Background: A particular rig with casing shear rams has response time of 51
seconds. When asked about the required closing time in API 53 for subsea casing

API S53, 4th Edition, Addendum 1 in July 2016. Therefore this interpretation
53
4th Edition,
7.3.10 53-02-13
shear rams, I stated “45 seconds, the same as pipe rams.” Rig personnel believed
that the requirements in 7.2.10 do not apply to casing shear rams because they do not
Yes; Tables 6 and 7 require the well to be secured in 90 seconds or
less. If a casing shear ram is part of that sequence then it shall be
Nov. 2012 seal and thus are not considered a BOP.
has been withdrawn as a result of these updated requirements.
Question: Are casing shear rams required to comply with the closing times stated in
within that same timeline to achieve a secure well.

7.3.10?

4th Edition, Yes, if the hotline is the primary fluid supply.


53 7.3.10 53-01-18 Is the Hot Line required to be able to perform EDS in time by itself?
Nov. 2012 No, if the hotline is not the primary fluid supply.

No, the EDS is a programmed sequence of events. NOTE: EDS


5th Edition,
54 7.3.10.1 53-02-18 According 7.3.10.1, is the EDS to be considered one function? response time criteria is specified in Table 6 and Table 7, required by
Nov. 2012
7.3.17.5.

For functions with varying pressure ranges it is impossible to comply with the 25%-
75% gauge rule. The Overshot Packer and the Flowline Seals (just an example but it
applies to more functions) can sometimes be run down to as low as 200 psi and as
high as 1,500 psi. To meet the API Standard 53 requirement on 7.3.12.8, you would
The intent is not to require two gauges for normal operations; the
need to operate with a gauge with a high end of 2,000 psi which would make your low
4th Edition, intent is for two gauges required for testing only. However, two
53 7.3.12.8 53-20-16 end 500 psi (25% of 2000), which is above our low range for the function (200 psi).
Nov. 2012 gauges would be required to meet the requirement with a span that
exceeds the 25%-75%.
To meet the API Standard 53 requirement on 7.3.12.8, you would need to operate with
a gauge with a high end of 2,000 psi which would make your low end 500 psi (25% of
2000), which is above our low range for the function (200 psi). Use two different
gauges?

The API 53 has contraditory procedures to do the drawdown test. In section 7.4.6.4.2
says that you should close and open the largest volume annular plus four smallest
4th Edition, operation volume ram-type BOP, excluding test ram. However, the section 7.6.8.2.2 d)
53 7.4.6.4.2 53-22-16 For drawdown testing, 7.6.8.2.2 shall be followed.
Nov. 2012 request the largest annular plus the four smallest volume PIPE ram preventers.

Which one should I use for the BOP from background?

Page 15 of 27
API Std 53 - Blowout Prevention Equipment Systems for Drilling Wells
Standard Edition Section Inquiry # Question Reply Last update: August 12, 2015

If the main accumulator system drawdown test meets the requirement of precharge
4th Edition, verification for the main system as described in 7.6.8.2.1 and 7.3.7.1 and Table 9, is
53 7.4.6.6.3 53-26-16 Yes.
Nov. 2012 the intention of 7.4.6.6.3 to require only the subsea (stack mounted) accumulator
bottles precharge to be checked and adjusted for depth every predeployment?

7.4.6.6.2 The precharge pressure on each accumulator bottle shall be measured in


accordance with equipment owner's PM program and adjusted, if necessary.
7.4.6.6.3 The precharge pressure shall be measured prior to BOP stack deployment
and adjusted in accordance with the manufacturer-specified API 16D method (A, B, or
C).

These paragraphs relate to measurement and adjustment of precharge, however, they


do not specify if the requirements are for Main Accumulators, Stack Mounted
Accumulators, or both.

4th Edition, We conclude that 7.4.6.6.2 is meant to relate to the Main Accumulators on surface as
53 7.4.6.6.3 53-29-16
Nov. 2012 the pressure measurements can be scheduled at appropriate time intervals. Also, we
conclude that 7.4.6.6.3 relates to stack mounted accumulators as they must be
measured and adjusted prior to BOP stack deployment. Response 1: Yes.

Question 1: Was the intent of 7.4.6.6.2 to relate to the Main Accumulators on surface
and was this measurement intended to be checked at time interval determined by the
equipment owner?

Question 2: Was the intent of 7.4.6.6.3 to relate to the accumulators that are stack
Response 2: Yes.
mounted?

There has been some confusion within our organization as to whether or not Section
7.4.6.6.3 pertains to both the surface and subsea accumulator bottles. Since the
verbiage from Section 6.3.9, referring strictly to surface accumulator bottles is exactly
the same as that for subsea, it has been our interpretation that this section was meant
for ALL accumulator bottles of the BOP system. Furthermore, this section also refers
to API 16D methods (A, B, or C), of which includes the method for surface
4th Edition,
53 7.4.6.6.3 53-06-17 accumulator precharge.
Nov. 2012

No, the subsea accumulator precharge shall be checked prior to BOP


stack deployment.
Is Section 7.4.6.6.3 applicable to both the surface and subsea mounted accumulator
The surface accumulator precharge shall be checked per equipment
bottles of a subsea BOP system?
owner's PM progam.
The next edition will include clarification to correct this.

Page 16 of 27
API Std 53 - Blowout Prevention Equipment Systems for Drilling Wells
Standard Edition Section Inquiry # Question Reply Last update: August 12, 2015

Standard 53 does not define "system" or "control unit " in section 7.4 nor in section 3.
Section 7.4.9 is entitled Control Stations. Section 7.4.9.9 discusses the main control
4th Edition, unit
53 7.4.9.10 53-07-17
Nov. 2012
No.
Is it correct that "the control unit" referred to in 7.4.9.10 is the "main control unit" ?
The next edition will include clarification to further define this.

Question 1: In reference to the requirement of 7.4.9.11, is it permissible for the system Reply 1: No, unless displaying the previous status could result in an
to display no previous status upon restoration of power? incorrect indication (API 16D 5.2.5.4 & 5.4.5).

Question 2: In reference to the requirement of 7.4.9.11, is it permissible for the system


4th Edition, 7.4.9.10 to change the state of a BOP operator upon restoration of power, and display the Reply 2: No.
53 53-04-15
Nov. 2012 7.4.9.11 changed position? Example – unlocking a locked pipe ram?

Question 3: In reference to the requirement of 7.4.9.11, API 16D requires not


displaying the last position when an electrical power loss in the surface panel(s)
could result in an incorrect indication (5.2.5.4). Please confirm the API 16D Reply 3: See response to question 1.
requirement takes precedence and either include the requirement in API S53 or delete
the design requirement in API S53.

In section 7.4.9.11 is it correct to assume “ the system” referred to is the 16D edition
4th Edition,
53 7.4.9.11 53-08-17 2, definition of a BOP CONTROL SYSTEM (3.14) and includes all of the control and Yes.
Nov. 2012
display panels used to operate the BOP?

When there is more than an interruption to power, rather a complete loss for several
hours, some MUX systems only retain the last know state at the CCU or in the
function logger.
4th Edition,
53 7.4.9.11 53-09-17
Nov. 2012 Does it meet the intent of S53 if, after a complete loss of power, the location of the
information concerning the status of the BOP control system at the time of loss of
power is displayed at the CCU, or recorded in the function logger , and only at the Yes.
CCU or function logger as described in 16D 5.4.5 “..displayed/and or recorded in some
form” .

Question 1: With respect to an EDS being completed, will the time stop when the Reply 1: No, the time stops when the well is secured (see Table 6
command has been sent to the LMRP connector to unlatch? and Table 7 Note C).
4th Edition,
53 7.4.13 53-05-17
Nov. 2012
Question 2: Will the time stop when the LMRP connector has reached its fully Reply 2: No, the time stops when the well is secured (see Table 6
unlatched position? and Table 7 Note C).

Page 17 of 27
API Std 53 - Blowout Prevention Equipment Systems for Drilling Wells
Standard Edition Section Inquiry # Question Reply Last update: August 12, 2015

Question 1: If a stack-mounted accumulator system (sized per API 16D, Method C, for
closing of shear ram(s) only) is utilized to meet the ROV closing time requirement,
Reply 1: API 53 does not address this issue.
and is shared with a deadman and autoshear system, shall it include a ROV
recharging function to comply with 7.4.16.1.2?

4th Edition, Reply 2: The source of hydraulic fluid shall have necessary pressure
53 7.4.16.1 53-01-15 Question 2: Shall the stack-mounted accumulator option include a regulated circuit to
Nov. 2012 and flow rate to operate these functions”, as stated in 7.4.16.1.2, and
actuate critical functions listed in 7.4.16.1.1 if they have a rated working pressure
“All critical functions shall meet the closing time requirements in
below the accumulator’s charged pressure?
7.4.6.5.4”, as stated in 7.4.16.1.6.

Question 3: A failure of the deadman or autoshear may be the reason for needing to
conduct BOP ROV intervention. If a shared system fails, shall the BOP ROV
Reply 3: API 53 does not address this issue.
intervention system include functions to isolate these systems so recharging of the
accumulator system is possible?

It is not clear in 7.4.16.1.1 whether shear ram ‘OPEN’, pipe ram ‘OPEN’, and ram locks
‘UNLOCK’ are considered critical functions as they are not included in Table 6.
Reply 1: No.
Question 1: Are shear ram ‘OPEN’, pipe ram ‘OPEN’, and ram locks ‘UNLOCK’
considered critical functions?
4th Edition,
53 7.4.16.1.1 53-18-16
Nov. 2012
Question 2: Are the items on the list below inclusive of API Standard 53 critical
functions?
• Each Shear Ram ‘CLOSE’
Reply 2: Yes.
• Blind Shear Ram Locks ‘LOCK’
• One Pipe Ram ‘CLOSE’ and 'LOCK'
• LMRP Connector ‘UNLATCH’

Background: I have a four-ram stack (one blind shear and three pipe rams). I have an
acoustic pod that closes the blind shear rams, closes a hang-off ram, and disconnects
the LMRP. The acoustic pod is capable of operating critical functions, just not all of
them.
4th Edition, No; this provision is implemented with a “should” and therefore is a
53 7.4.16.2.2 53-04-13 Section 7.4.16.2.2 states “the acoustic control system should be capable of operating
Nov. 2012 recommendation.
critical functions”, with the term “critical functions” being defined in 7.4.16.1.1 as
each shear ram, one pipe ram, ram locks, and unlatching of the LMRP connector.

Question: Is the intent of 7.4.16.2 to require the acoustic pod to operate all critical
functions, specifically every shear ram?

Page 18 of 27
API Std 53 - Blowout Prevention Equipment Systems for Drilling Wells
Standard Edition Section Inquiry # Question Reply Last update: August 12, 2015

Table 7 is a function test requirement without pipe in the stack.


7.6.6.5 states BSRs and/or CSRs shall not be tested when pipe is in
Question: Are the blind shear ram closing times stated in Table 7 to mean if pipe is in the stack.
4th Edition, the BOP it must shear and seal in 45 seconds, and if drill pipe is not in the BOP, the 7.4.16.1.2 states the source of hydraulic fluid shall have necessary
53 Table 7 53-07-13
Nov. 2012 ram must close in 45 seconds with sufficient pressure that could have sheared the pressure and flow rate to operate these functions.
drill pipe had it been in the BOP? The intent is to secure the wellbore in 45 seconds or less with or
without pipe in the stack, but the test with pipe in the stack is not a
requirement of Standard 53.

Testing referred to in Table 6 and Table 7 is intended to be conducted


4th Edition, Referencing 7.6.5.1, for BOP functioning/intervention via a ROV, does the 45 second
53 7.6.5.1 53-09-14 with an open hole for shear rams (see 7.6.6.5) and with pipe in the
Nov. 2012 requirement in Table 6 and Table 7 apply to an open bore or for a BOP with pipe in it?
stack for pipe rams.

As per 7.6.5.2.14, are BHA components such as the bit, motor, stabilizers, etc to be
considered "large bore tools" for drifting the BOP upon completion of the initial BOP
4th Edition, test on the wellhead assembly, when no test plug is used and the wear bushing is
53 7.6.5.2.14 53-19-17 Yes, the BHA components can be considered other large bore tools.
Nov. 2012 already installed? Example: Deepwater, shallow depth well with low MASP, where a
test plug is not used and the initial BOP test on the seafloor is conducted against a
cemented shoe and surface casing. The SSBOP is equipped with test rams.

Yes, per 7.6.5.4.3 A function test of the BOP control system shall be
performed following the disconnection or repair, limited to the
affected component.
Release or latching type components are only required per 7.6.5.1.7.
4th Edition,
53 7.6.5.2.6 53-24-16 Do you need to do a function test after relanding the LMRP onto the lower stack?
Nov. 2012
7.6.5.1.7 Release or latching type components of subsea well control
systems (choke, kill, riser, wellhead connectors, etc.) and emergency
or secondary systems shall be function tested prior to deployment or
as defined in equipment owner’s PM program.

Page 19 of 27
API Std 53 - Blowout Prevention Equipment Systems for Drilling Wells
Standard Edition Section Inquiry # Question Reply Last update: August 12, 2015

The intent was not to require a higher test pressure for downstream
Is it the intent that the portion of the manifold that is downstream of the chokes be of the chokes as compared to the upstream of the chokes.
4th Edition, 7.6.5.2.6
53 53-25-16 pressure tested to the RWP of the chokes outlet valves, lines or the same as the ram
Nov. 2012 Table 10
preventers, whichever is lower even if the lowest RWP is higher than the MAWHP? This requirement will be reviewed for change at the next revision of
the document.

Question 1: Does each of the valves in the C&K manifold (about 35 valve) need to be Reply 1: No. Valves that are required to seal against flow from both
pressure tested in both directions? directions, shall be pressure tested from both directions.

Question 2: Or does each of the valves in the C&K manifold need to be pressure
4th Edition, 7.6.5.2.13 Reply 2: No, see above.
53 53-08-15 tested from wellbore direction only?
Nov. 2012 Table 10

Reply 3: Shell testing of choke manifold equipment is a


Question 3: Or does each of the valves in the C&K manifold need just 1 each shell test
manufacturing requirement. See API Specification 16C second
in 15k & 10k side?
edition 7.5.12.
We heard same test need to be done each 21days during operation
See API Standard 53 7.6.5.4.2.d & Table 10.

Question 1: Are all “pre-deployment” and “prior to deployment” requirements of API Reply 1: No; a function test of the BOP control system shall be
53 to be completed after a LMRP or BOP retrieval for repair before re-deploying to the performed following the disconnection or repair, limited to the
same well for continued operation. affected component, as stated in 7.6.5.4.3.
4th Edition,
53 7.6.5.3 53-07-14
Nov. 2012

Question 2: Alternatively, does “pre-deployment” and “prior to deployment” refer to


Reply 2: Yes.
deployment following between-well-maintenance and prior to new operations?”

7.6.5.4.1 a), Table 9, and Table 10 state Pressure tests on the well control equipment
shall be conducted predeployment of the BOP and upon landing the BOP. We test
predeployment; we land the BOP on wellhead & conduct a complete test. At end of
well 1 we unlatch pull 2 joints of riser, move the drill ship (short distance), land and
latch the BOP on wellhead 2, complete the program on site 2, then unlatch and repeat
the "BOP Hop" multiple times (4-7 well sites, some wells only 2 weeks long, between
moves) over the course of months before pulling the BOP back to surface to complete
between well maintenance and pre-deployment testing. 7.6.5.4.1 d) states 'not to
exceed intervals of 21 days, excluding BSRs.
4th Edition,
53 7.6.5.4.1a 53-04-17
Nov. 2012

Page 20 of 27
53
4th Edition,
7.6.5.4.1a 53-04-17
API Std 53 - Blowout Prevention Equipment Systems for Drilling Wells
Standard Nov. 2012
Edition Section Inquiry # Question Reply Last update: August 12, 2015
Question 1: If we do not pull the BOP to surface do we have to complete a full BOP Reply 1: Refer to 7.6.5.9 of Standard 53 for subsea well hopping
test on each initial landing? requirements.

Question 2: As we are not pulling the BOP to surface between wells, and many of our
wells are not 21 days long: (if we complete the weekly function tests) & If we conduct
a complete pressure test every 21 days and a -pressure test / shell test against the Reply 2: Refer to 7.6.5.9 of Standard 53 for subsea well hopping
shear rams and wellhead connector/gasket with each new site BOP landing... does requirements.
meeting the 21 day pressure test interval full-fill the consideration and intention of
Standard 53?

Is it correct that point "d" is meant to apply only after the BOP is deployed and not
4th Edition,
53 7.6.5.4.1d 53-20-17 before. I.E. predeployment testing does not have a frequency or a specific window Yes, the 21 day test frequency is while the BOP is in operation.
Nov. 2012
before deploying other than it must be completed at least once before deploying.

I do not understand the intent to pressure test annular(s) and VBR(s) on the largest
and smallest OD drill pipe to be used in well drilling program on surface. No, 7.6.6.3 shall be followed for the pre-deployment test.
4th Edition,
53 7.6.6.3 53-17-16 The intent is to verify the full range of variable BOP sealing elements
Nov. 2012
Should be enough to test only with the smallest OD drill pipe as stated in 7.6.6.4 on prior to deployment.
subsea test?

The use of ram locks is not required for subsequent testing. Section
4th Edition, In section 7.6.6.9 it requires testing on the ram locks only during pre-deployment 7.6.6.10 states “The BSR(s) and the hang-off ram BOP shall be
53 7.6.6.9 53-13-14
Nov. 2012 testing. What about the 21 day testing regimen? pressure tested with locks in the locked position and closing and
locking pressure vented, during the initial subsea test only.”

Reply 1: This is a question based on an opinion and does not meet


the requirements for technical interpretation. Note that a surge
Question 1: In reference to 7.6.6.17, is totally impractical to suggest that a surge
bottle is not required per this standard, as the statement utilizes the
bottle can be installed adjacent to the annular preventer if contingency well control
word “can” which allows the possibility without inferring it is a
procedures include stripping operations as this implies that a bottle may be used on
requirement.
some wells and not on others. Would it not be better to simply state that an annular
Depending on system configuration and plumbing, a surge bottle
surge bottle is optional for subsea use?
may improve stripping capability. Use of other equipment may
4th Edition, accomplish the same result as a surge bottle.
53 7.6.6.17 53-04-16
Nov. 2012

Question 2: Per the Standard, would it be better to state that the surge bottle is
Reply 2: See response above. However your comment will be
optional than simply deleting 7.6.6.17? Stating that it is optional is clear. Deleting the
considered during the next revision of the document.
statement could be interpreted as an error.

Page 21 of 27
API Std 53 - Blowout Prevention Equipment Systems for Drilling Wells
Standard Edition Section Inquiry # Question Reply Last update: August 12, 2015

Question 1: Is it acceptable to pressure test a riser connector to 70% as like an SBOP


after breaking this connection, if the wellhead RWP is 15 000psi and the anticipated Reply 1: No.
wellhead pressure is just over 10 000psi?

4th Edition,
53 Table 9 53-10-16
Nov. 2012

Question 2: Is it acceptable to complete function test and drawdown test then split
the LMRP off the BOP and change riser connector, choke and kill gaskets then Reply 2: No.
deploy? Confirmation required please.

We are doing pre deployment testing according to S53 table 9 (page 86), my question
relates to table 10 (subsea testing) and the interpretation of “initial pressure test,
upon landing the BOP”

Question 1: Shall this be understood in the most conservative way, that one shall first Reply 1: The testing listed in Table 10 shall be conducted after initial
4th Edition, do a full pre-deployment test, run BOP, and then repeat all testing again after landing latch-up.
53 Table 9 53-12-16
Nov. 2012 on a wellhead?

Question 2: Or could the pre-deployment test (as long as BOP is run within
reasonable time, say a week) be considered as the initial pressure test (with WH Reply 2: No.
connector pressure test and full function test after landing)?

We have been requested to change our practice for BOP testing upon latching on a
new subsea wellhead. So far the common understanding was to follow the
instructions reported in Table 10 where the pressures were intended as readings at
surface gauges. The latest request was to pressure test the Blind Shear Rams and the
Wellhead Connector upon latching at MAWHP reduced by the Hydrostatic Head (test Answer 1: Yes, if the units of measurements are the same. NOTE:
medium seawater). As per our previous practice we would have applied MAWHP at MAWHP can be expressed as either an absolute (psia) or a relative
surface (see also API RP 96, 5.4.2.2 "The MAWHP is an internal pressure, and does gauge pressure (psig).
not account for the effect of the external seawater gradient down to the wellhead").

4th Edition, Question 1) Is the MAWHP to be intended as the pressure readings at the BOP
53 Table 10 53-21-17
Nov. 2012 sensor?

Page 22 of 27
4th Edition,
53 Table 10 53-21-17
Nov. 2012
API Std 53 - Blowout Prevention Equipment Systems for Drilling Wells
Standard Edition Section Inquiry # Question Reply Last update: August 12, 2015

Answer 2: Yes, if MAWHP is presented as an absolute pressure


(psia) the surface test pressure should be reduced by the hydrostatic
Question 2) Is testing the Wellhead Connector at a surface pressure equal to MAWHP
head of the test medium (seawater).
reduced by Hydrostatic Head in line with API requirements?
No, if MAWHP is presented as a relative gauge pressure (psig), it is
the surface test pressure with a seawater test medium.

Question 1: The drawdown test requirement outlined in section 7.6.8.2 for drawdown
testing, after the completion of the drawdown test, do we require to perform a pump
Reply 1: No, 7.6.8.2 does not require a pump capability test.
up test for the system to confirm the pumps capability, or we are only required to
perform the drawdown test and confirm the minimum pressure?
4th Edition,
53 7.6.8.2 53-15-16
Nov. 2012
Question 2: The pump capability test is required to be done based on table 9 for
predeployment testing, does the system need to be bled down to precharge pressure Reply 2: Yes, the pressure is required to be bled down to precharge
prior to performing the test or only the pressure after the drawdown test which is as a pressure.
minimum should be 200 psi over precharge pressure?

The relevant API S 53 section is 7.6.8.2. Our interpretation, and what appears to be
pretty straightforward, is that a drawdown test should be carried out:
Yes, the drawdown test shall be conducted:
• During BOP Pre-Deployment testing
• prior to deployment
• Once the BOP has been landed following deployment
• upon initial landing the BOPs
4th Edition, • After repairs to the system which has included isolation of the accumulator system
53 7.6.8.2 53-22-17 • after any repairs that required isolation/partial isolation of the
Nov. 2012 • If the BOP is Subsea for over 6 months, 6 months from previous test.
system
• and subsequently every 6 months from the previous test
During discussions with a contractor we have been informed that they only carry out
drawdown testing every 6 months and not the pre-deployment and landing
requirements
Is our interpretation correct?

Yes, the intent is fully explained in 7.6.8.2.1, ‘The purpose of this test
Figure A.4 Note 2 seems to be contradictory regarding confirmation of closing times.
is to verify that the main accumulator system, as described in 7.3.7.1,
Question 1: 7.6.8.2 Drawdown Test
is properly sized to support the fluid volume and pressure
Is it the intent of this test to test (verify) the main accumulator volume and pressure?
requirements of the BOPs on the rig to secure the wellbore’.

4th Edition, 7.6.8.2


53 53-04-18
Nov. 2012 Figure A.4

Page 23 of 27
API Std 53 - Blowout Prevention Equipment Systems for Drilling Wells
Standard Edition Section Inquiry # Question Reply Last update: August 12, 2015
4th Edition, 7.6.8.2
53 53-04-18
Nov. 2012 Figure A.4
Yes, this is an appropriate test for confirming closing times.
Question 2: Are the pod function test tests with pump systems online the appropriate
tests for confirming closing times? NOTE: The Standard 53 5th edition draft does not require closing
time conformance during the accumulator drawdown test.

To accomplish a drawdown test and minimize pipe handling S53 Annex A infers you
can use another BOP operator such as a pipe ram to simulate the volumetric draw of
the shear rams. In practice we see that some equipment owners will use the annular
to simulate the volume of a large shear ram operator. Sometimes the packer sizes
differ such that one pipe cannot be used and close all rams, so a ram is closed twice
to simulate the other ram. To decrease wear and tear on the pipe ram packer and
4th Edition, automatic locks, as well as the annular packer an equipment owner wants to function
53 7.6.8.2.2 53-14-17 only the casing shear ram a sufficient number of times to simulate the volume drawn
Nov. 2012
by 1 annular and 4 of the smallest rams. This also reduces pipe handling in and out of
the BOP.

Does functioning a casing shear ram sufficient times to drawdown the same or more
Yes, the intent is to operate the equivalent, or more, volume required
volume than would be drawn down by closing and opening one annular and 4 rams
to verify the accumulator system functionality.
meet the intent of the drawdown test?

Section 7.6.8.2.2 Requires a main accumulator system drawdown on initial land out
and every 6 months there after. The requirement does NOT mention the pump
efficiency test specifically but does refere to Annex "A" which DOES include a pump
systems test . I am referring to a test to determine if the pumps meet the requirements
of 7.4.5 which, consequently does NOT have a frequency stated but because the
4th Edition,
53 7.6.8.2.2 53-09-16 annex references both requirements rigs have assumed they have the same testing
Nov. 2012
frequency requirements. This prolongs the time in which the system is incapable of
carrying out an EDS.

Upon landing the BOP , in addition to the drawdown test, is the pump systems test -
No.
timing top off from precharge- required?

Page 24 of 27
API Std 53 - Blowout Prevention Equipment Systems for Drilling Wells
Standard Edition Section Inquiry # Question Reply Last update: August 12, 2015

Question 1: Referring to 7.6.8.3, do the following meet the intent of “the greatest
consuming emergency sequence (excluding hydraulic connectors) supplied by the
dedicated emergency accumulators shall be discharged”?

a) Operating HP shear functions by the primary control system that are supplied by Reply 1: Item a) does not meet the intent of 7.6.8.3 because it refers
the emergency accumulators? to a primary control system function. Items b) through d) do meet the
b) Operating HP shear functions through an ROV flying lead supplied by the intent of 7.6.8.3.
emergency accumulators?
c) Flowing a volume of fluid by an ROV flying lead supplied by the emergency
accumulators into a measured test apparatus?
4th Edition, d) Conducting the greatest consuming deadman or autoshear sequence?
53 7.6.8.3 53-15-13
Nov. 2012

Question 2: If the greatest sequence includes a hydraulic timer, is the hydraulic


Reply 2: Yes, all involved volumes shall be included.
timing volume required to be included in this test?

Question 3: If the answer to Question 2 is yes, can it be simulated by another


Reply 3: Yes.
function?

Question 4: If well hopping, does the test at initial landing only have to be completed Reply 4: Yes, if the hydraulic supply system remains intact during the
after connection to the first well? hopping operation.

Reading between section 7.6.9.3.1 and 7.6.9.3.2 , the section refers to suspending
initial maintenance calendars based to start on the date the equipment is installed in a
system and section 7.6.9.3.2 advises that a variation from calendar based
maintenance can be carried out given equipment data to justify a different frequency.
4th Edition,
53 7.6.9.3 53-11-17
Nov. 2012
In Addendum 1, section 7.6.9.3.1, is it correct to infer that equipment overhauled and If the equipment is inspected per 7.6.9.3.1 and then stored in
tested in the field then stored in accordance with 7.6.9.7 Equipment Storage may accordance with 7.6.9.7, the 5 year period will begin upon
pause its five-year period on the date it is put into storage, then restart the installation.
maintenance calendar on re-installation and meet the intent of this section concerning Once a start date is determined, there is no pausing of the five year
maintenance and inspection? inspection period.

In Addendum 1, section 6.5.7.3.1 (c ) reads …" if preservation and storage records in


accordance with 6.5.8.4, are not available". The sister section 7.6.9.3.1 (c ) is nearly
identical to 6.5.7.3.1 except it does NOT refer to section 7.6.9.7 to describe the
preservation.
4th Edition,
53 7.6.9.3.1 53-12-17
Nov. 2012

Was it the intent of Addendum 1 to use section 7.6.9.7 Equipment Storage as


Yes.
guidance for the preservation referred to in section 7.6.9.3.1?

Page 25 of 27
API Std 53 - Blowout Prevention Equipment Systems for Drilling Wells
Standard Edition Section Inquiry # Question Reply Last update: August 12, 2015

API STD 53, Section 7.6.9.3 states “Well control equipment system components shall
be inspected at least every 5 years in accordance with the equipment owner’s PM
program. Individual components and subassemblies may be inspected on a staggered
schedule. The inspection results shall be verified against the manufacturer’s
acceptance criteria.”
4th Edition, 7.6.9.3 &
53 53-27-16 No.
Nov. 2012 6.2.5.1 API STD 53, Section 6.2.5.1 addressing the inspection, testing and maintenance of
Choke Manifolds, Choke Lines, and Kill Lines states “Maintenance and inspection
shall be performed on the same schedule employed for the BOP in
use and shall include checks for wear, erosion, and plugged or damaged lines.”

Is it a requirement to tear down the Choke Manifold to meet this requirement?

Background: We have one rig where the COCs of the subsea components expired at
the end of last year (2013), however; the components have been in storage for more
than two years and only been in service for 740 days. All equipment is fully functional
and documents of testing and annual inspection are well maintained.

This intepretation has been rendered invalid as a result of publication of


Question 1: Referencing 7.6.9.3.1, does the term “At least every 5 years” begin on the
component COC date or on the date that the component is put in service? Reply 1: Neither; it begins from the date the equipment was last
“inspected for repair or remanufacturing, in accordance with

API S53, 4th Edition, Addendum 1 in July 2016. Therefore this interpretation
53
4th Edition,
7.6.9.3.1 53-06-14 Question 2: Referencing 7.6.9.3.1, does API 53 require the COCs of this equipment to
equipment owner's PM program and the manufacturer’s guidelines”.

Nov. 2012 be active if the equipment owner’s PM program requirements include all subsea Reply 2: No, API 53 does not require COCs.
has been superceded as a result of these updated requirements and
equipment to be inspected annually and/or every five year by a competent person(s)
(the frequency of inspection is derived from the equipment as owner collects and
analyzes condition based data (including performance data) and the result of the
replaced with the following interpretation.
inspection meets the equipment owner’s PM program and the manufacturer’s
guidelines?

Page 26 of 27
API Std 53 - Blowout Prevention Equipment Systems for Drilling Wells
Standard Edition Section Inquiry # Question Reply Last update: August 12, 2015
Background: We have one rig where the COCs of the subsea components expired at
the end of last year (2013), however; the components have been in storage for more
than two years and only been in service for 740 days. All equipment is fully functional
and documents of testing and annual inspection are well maintained.

Question: Referencing 7.6.9.3.1, does API 53 require the COCs of this equipment to be
active if the equipment owner’s PM program requirements include all subsea
4th Edition,
53 7.6.9.3.1 53-06-14 equipment to be inspected annually and/or every five year by a competent person(s) Reply: No, API 53 does not require COCs.
Nov. 2012
(the frequency of inspection is derived from the equipment as owner collects and
analyzes condition based data (including performance data) and the result of the
inspection meets the equipment owner’s PM program and the manufacturer’s
guidelines?

Background: Section 7.6.9.3.3 states certain equipment shall undergo a critical


This intepretation has been rendered invalid as a result of
inspection (internal/external visual, dimensional, NDE, etc.) annually, or upon
recovery if exceeding 1 year: e.g. shear blades, bonnet bolts (or other bonnet/door

53
4th Edition, publication of API S53, 4th Edition, Addendum 1 in July 2016.
7.6.9.3.3 53-03-14
locking devices), ram shaft button/foot, welded hubs, ram cavities, and ram blocks.
The actual dimensions shall be verified against the manufacturer’s allowable
tolerances.
Nov. 2012
Therefore this interpretation has been withdrawn as a result of
Question 1: Was this meant to be a requirement for the listed example equipment?
Reply 1: Yes; the example equipment listed shall be inspected at a
minimum.

these updated requirements.


Question 2: Does API 53 specify who determines which inspection method is used?
Reply 2: Yes; Section 7.6.9.3.1 states inspections shall be performed
in accordance with the equipment owner’s preventive maintenance
program.

Section 7.6.9.3.4 states inspections shall be performed by a competent person(s).


4th Edition, No; these are not required by API 53. See 3.1.20 for the definition of
53 7.6.9.3.4 53-08-14 Must this "competent person (workshop)" have the certification or permission of the
Nov. 2012 a competent person.
manufacturer to fulfill the repairs?

If the first shear is activated it would be expected to experience the


worse conditions. The second shear or closure may not be shearing,
Section 7.1.3.6 requires a subsea BOP on a non-moored (ie DP) semi to have two but just closing and sealing.
shear rams. Is the expectation that both shear rams are capable of shearing the drill
pipe in use at the maximum anticipated wellbore pressure, or does only one need to Two shearing rams must be capable of shearing the pipe and only
4th Edition, be capable of shearing in these conditions? one is required to be capable of sealing the wellbore. It is preferred
53 7.6.11.7.6 53-01-12
Nov. 2012 that this be achieved on the first attempt but the BOP system must
The confusion arises out of the wording in 7.6.11.7.6 which states "Consider one set be prepared to at least shear on the first closure and seal on the
of shear rams capable of shearing drill pipe and tubing that might be across the stack second.
at MEWSP."
It was not the intent of the committee that the second closure be
capable of shearing the pipe and sealing the wellbore.

Page 27 of 27

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