This keynote speech provides a brief introduction to a series of papers concerning API Production Research projects. Discussion includes history, budgets, procedures, and accomplishments.


The API has supported research for 53 of its 61 years. Initially the research was fundamental, such as measuring fluid properties (e.g. API Project 37 which continued for 40 years) and studying reservoir geology. This fundamental work was handled by the Executive Committee on Exploration and Production Research.

In 1974 the emphasis changed to applied work, focusing on offshore operations under the Committee on Offshore Safety and Anti-Pollution Research (OSAPR). And in 1978 the Production Research Advisory Committee (PRAC) was formed (with Dr. R. S. Crog as chairman) to expand the scope of and support research on subjects such as corrosion, strength of tubular goods, and environmental effects of drilling fluids. This was in addition to the offshore research, which has continued.

Since PRAC was formed it has supported about 10 projects each year, on a budget that grew from $327,000 to $480,000 in 1981. Corrected for inflation, this breaks down to;(Figure is available in full paper)

In general, PRAC's projects are selected as follows:

Proposals are submitted -- mainly from API Technical Advisory Committees on Standardization and Research. Proposals from research- 6rs are also accepted.

During the second quarter of the year, proposals are ranked by PRAC, which prepares a list for the API's Production Department General Committee. The list includes a ranked group oil projects that fits the expected budget and a second ranked group consisting of the remaining projects submitted.

This list is sent to the General Committee for approval before mid-year. After the Department budget is approved, contracts are negotiated by the API staff. The skill and experience of Mr. C. O. Liles has been essential in making this process work.

Technical Advisory Committees are formed to maintain close liaison with each research project.

Progress of projects is monitored through quarterly status reports.

Final reports are distributed to PRAC and Technical Advisory Committee members and become public information, and results are used for API standards, recommended practices, and other. ongoing work

PRAC's principal accomplishments so far have been the successful completion of a series of projects used in forming RP2A for the design of offshore platforms. Much useful data has resulted from the projects on cathodic protection and corrosion fatigue of offshore structures. Other projects have been completed and are being considered by the Standardization Committees for incorporation in API standards.

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