MMS Adopts Industry Standards on Fixed Production Platforms
The MMS has published a final rule to incorporate, by reference, into its regulations the 21st edition of the American Petroleum Institute Recommended Practice 2A (API RP 2A-WSD), "Recommended Practice for Planning, Designing and Constructing Fixed Offshore Platforms—Working Stress Design."
Incorporating the 21st edition of API RP 2A-WSD into MMS regulations will streamline the permitting of all fixed platforms in the OCS. The 21st edition updates and replaces the 19th and 20th editions of API RP 2A-WSD, which are already incorporated, by reference, into MMS regulations.
MMS will also cancel two National Notices to Lessees and Operators (NTLs) related to the 19th and 20th editions of API RP 2A—(1) NTL No. 98-1N, "Interim Guidance for Applying Platform Design Criteria"; and (2) NTL No. 98-4N "Interim Guidance 'Simplified Fatigue Analysis' Procedure." MMS had published the NTLs, in cooperation with the API RP 2A industry workgroup, to provide guidance on applying or recalculating certain design criteria specified in the 19th and 20th editions of API RP 2A that were found to be either inadequate or in error.
Incorporating the 21st edition will immediately correct the deficiencies that the API workgroup identified in the 19th and 20th editions of API RP 2A. Lessees and operators will not have to continue to perform the corrective calculations and procedures called for in NTLs No. 98-1N and No. 98-4N.
On December 27, 2001, MMS proposed to amend Subpart I of 30 CFR Part 250 and to incorporate into its regulations nine industry standards, including the 21st edition of API RP 2A-WSD, pertaining primarily to floating production platforms. During the subsequent comment period, MMS received no objections to incorporating, by reference, the 21st edition of API RP 2A-WSD into its regulations.
MMS believes it is important to expedite the incorporation, by reference, of the 21st edition of API RP 2A-WSD ahead of the other standards. A separate final rule will be published to amend Subpart I and to incorporate by reference the other eight industry standards.