The American Petroleum Institute published a new set of recommended practices for testing and classifying crude oil for rail shipment and loading it into rail tank cars.

“The development of standards is a major part of API’s ongoing work to enhance safety throughout our industry,” said API President and CEO Jack Gerard. “This particular standard is one element of a much broader approach to safety improvement. A comprehensive effort that addresses accident prevention, mitigation and response is essential to achieving our goal of zero incidents for crude by rail shipments.”

API’s Recommended Practice for Classifying and Loading of Crude Oil into Rail Tank Cars, known as RP 3000, provides guidance on many important aspects of preparing to ship crude oil by rail, including:

• Procedures for initial and ongoing sampling and testing of crude oil for transport classification.
• Criteria for determining the frequency of crude oil sampling and testing, and how to document results.
• How to assign the correct Packing Group.
• Establishing a crude oil sampling and testing program.
• Proper quantity measurement procedures to prevent overfill when loading crude oil into rail tank cars.

“Proper testing, classification and handling are important when shipping any material subject to PHMSA regulations, and crude oil is no exception,” said Gerard. “These guidelines are the product of extensive work and cooperation between the oil and natural gas industry, the freight rail industry and PHMSA to ensure crude shipments are packaged appropriately and emergency responders have the right information.”

API says it will initially make the standard available at no charge to interested parties via

Additional Resources: IHS Standards Library