Driving Force Blog - September 2021

API Standards - A brief discussion

API Standards - A Brief Discussion

In the oil and gas industry, there is no room for errors or slowdowns. It is important that the powerhouse behind your machinery is reliable, safe, and efficient. Enter  American Petroleum Institute (“API”), standards for motors. Generally, when a manufacturer advertises that its motor is API certified, it means the motor has gone through a rigorous process to verify the consistency and conformity of the product to industry-backed and industry-leading processes and technology. 



As a brief synopsis of their history, the API was formed in 1919. This became the only national trade association that represents all the segments and facets of America’s oil and natural gas industry. With the formation of the API came the establishment of standards aimed at enhancing operational safety, environmental protection, and sustainability across the oil and gas industry. The API is made up of a leadership team, joined by corporate members from across all sectors of the industry – those who work with and in the trenches, every day. Having such involved members allows for a unique panel of true subject matter experts that have come together to establish, maintain, and distribute more than 700 standards, which are in effect today. These standards are regulated and regimented with the highest authority and scrutiny – which has earned them recognition and acceptance by state, federal, and many international regulators. Products and the companies that produce them and hold themselves to the API standard, give undeniable assurance to their customers of product integrity. 

A selection of our U.S. MOTORS® API standard certified motors

While API standards are not mandatory everywhere, the standards can benefit companies through reduction of waste and operation efficiency. While specifics vary from product category to product category depending on the application, each standard holds the same peace-of-mind status of reliable motors and generally involves thorough validation of:

  • Design of the product (or design changes throughout the process of creation)
  • Product part traceability
  • Product requirements (for application)
  • Monitoring and measuring overall product performance
  • Verification of controls
  • Preventative action
  • Monitoring and measuring product conformance
  • Final inspection activities

The API standards ensure equipment is of the best quality possible – meaning that customers do not have to waste time or money on replacing equipment unnecessarily. Additionally, API standards verify that products will have the least downtime possible – increasing your customer’s overall operating efficiency by reducing maintenance outages. On top of reducing cost-eating downtime, it is important to consider API standards when selecting a motor to know that you are truly getting the best product for your operation. Manufacturers of API certified equipment must prove that their motor or other product decreases lag-time, increases productivity, and secures safety for workers on the floor. While most companies are not shy about showing off their product’s API status, it is easy to find API monograms on a product which highlights its status as conforming to the API standards.