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API RP 53 3rd Edition, March 1997
Complete Document
Superseded By: API STD 53
Recommended Practices for Blowout Prevention Equipment Systems for Drilling Wells
Includes all amendments and changes through Reaffirmation Notice , September 1, 2004
Additional Comments: G53003 * W/D S/S BY API STD 53
Page Count:82
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The purpose of these recommended practices is to provide information that can serve as a guide for installation and testing of blowout prevention equipment systems on land and marine drilling rigs (barge, platform, bottom-supported, and floating). Blowout prevention equipment systems are composed of all systems required to operate the blowout preventers (BOPs) under varying rig and well conditions. These systems are: blowout preventers (BOPs), choke and kill lines, choke manifold, hydraulic control system, marine riser, and auxiliary equipment. The primary functions of these systems are to confine well fluids to the wellbore, provide means to add fluid to the wellbore, and allow controlled volumes to be withdrawn from the wellbore. In addition, diverter systems are addressed in this Recommended Practice, though their primary purpose is to safely divert flow rather than to confine fluids to the wellbore. Refer to API Recommended Practice 64 for additional information on divertesry stems. Marine risers are not dealt with in detail in this document. Refer to API Recommended Practice 16Q for additional information on marine drilling risers.


Procedures and techniques for well control are not included in this publication since they are beyond the scope of equipment systems contained herein (refer to API Recommended Practice 59).


In some instances, this publication contains a section pertaining to surface BOP installations followed by a section on subsea BOP installations. A delineation was made between surfacee and subsea equipment installations so these recommended practices would also have utility in floating drilling operations. Statements concerning surface equipment installations also generally apply to subsea equipment installations.


Recommended equipment arrangements, as set forth in this publication, are adequate to meet specified well conditions. It is recognized that other arrangements may be equally effective and can be used in meeting well requirements and promoting safety and efficiency.


Although operations are being conducted in areas of extremely low temperatures, a section specifically applicable to this service was not included since current practice generally results in protecting existing BOP equipment from this environment.


It is important to distinguish between the standards for in the- field control system accumulator capacity established here in Recommended Practice 53 and the design standards established in API Specification 16D.

API Specification 16D provides sizing guidelines for designers and manufacturers of control systems. In the factory, it is not possible to exactly simulate the volumetric demands of the control system piping, hoses, fittings, valves, BOPs, etc. On the rig, efficiency losses in the operation of fluid functions result from causes such as friction, hose expansion, control valve interflow as well as heat energy losses. Therefore, the establishment by the manufacturer of the design accumulator capacity provideas safety factor.T his safety factor is a margin of additional fluid capacity which is not actually intended to be usable to operate well control functions on the rig.

For this reason, the control system design accumulator capacity formulas established in Specification 16D are different from the demonstrable capacity guidelines provided here in Recommended Practice 53.

The original control system manufacturer shall be consulted in the event that the field calculations or field testing should indicate insufficient capacity or in the event that the volumetric requirements of equipment being controlled are changed, such as by the modification or changeout of the BOP stack.