I have been in the oil and gas industry for the last 12 years, travelling all over the US inspecting fixed equipment.

https://imgur.com/Xh2i7or https://imgur.com/1pXcoOa

Comments: 129 • Responses: 47  • Date: 

Honeymaid153 karma

So like, RESTful or what?

_takticalsausage_14 karma

Not sure what your are asking? Sorry

spectrumero48 karma

API = Application Programming Interface. Basically a software abstraction layer so that you can do something with some system from another piece of software. The RESTful API is a common type of API used on the internet.

I guess the APIs you're inspecting are not software, then. What does API stand for in the work you do?

_takticalsausage_34 karma

American Petroleum Institute

coldwhipzx7 karma

I quit a job working for this Company in DC to work elsewhere

Literally gave me no benefits and the office environment was venom. First day in the building (interview) the front desk person had me wait while she finished talking shit about the HR receptionist on the 5th floor.

Scary times, glad I got out.

_takticalsausage_2 karma

I have heard mixed stories about them, I just have certifications from them. I work for a company that specializes in inspection.

joecacti220 karma

Never heard of it. Is it an online school? What framework do you prefer?

_takticalsausage_10 karma

It's a certification program for visual inspection

Selfaware-potato3 karma

It’s actually got a lot of standards that influence oil and gas operations all around the world

_takticalsausage_3 karma

This is correct, some that I will likely never dive into as they aren't valuable to my career.

mrsirawesome22 karma

What would be the minimum shell plate thickness for an 18" hot tap?

_takticalsausage_29 karma

1/2" That is based off of API 653

mrsirawesome10 karma

You win half an internet point!

_takticalsausage_9 karma

Awesome, always wanted one of those

mrsirawesome5 karma

Put it towards your 510...

_takticalsausage_4 karma

Next on my list

mrsirawesome5 karma

Good luck

_takticalsausage_4 karma

Are you an inspector as well?

mrsirawesome5 karma

Yup, OIE on an offshore platform in the Persian Gulf

_takticalsausage_6 karma

Cool, stay safe out there

letsgolakers242 karma

On that note - here’s a discussion I’m trying to have (process engineer) with my project group. Do you have any experience regarding minimum velocity required or recommended when completing a hot tap? I know it’ll depend on liquid or vapor phase, but the concept would be to keep fluid running thru the line being hot tapped as a heat sink to remove heat from the weld location.

_takticalsausage_1 karma

From API 577

Under most conditions, it is desirable to maintain some product flow inside of any material being welded. This helps to dissipate the heat and to limit the metal temperature during the welding operation, thereby reducing the risk of burnthrough. Liquid flow rates in piping should be between 1.3 ft/sec. and 4.0 ft/sec. (0.4 m/sec. and 1.3 m/sec.). Faster liquid flow rates may cool the weld area too quickly and thereby cause hard zones that are susceptible to weld cracking or low toughness properties in the weldment. Because this is not a problem when the pipe contains gases, there is no need to specify a maximum velocity. If the normal flow of liquids exceeds these values or if the flow cools the metal to below dew point, it is advisable to compensate by preheating the weld area to at least 70 °F (20 °C) and maintaining that temperature until the weld has been completed. High liquid flow may cause rapid cooling of the weld area during the welding, creating hard zones susceptible to cracking. Under these circumstances, the minimum interpass temperatures may not be attainable, resulting in undesirable material properties.

letsgolakers242 karma

Thanks a lot for this. So we had a 150 psig steam hot tap we had to do for a flare project. We were going to hot tap downstream of a control valve, and the steam pressure would be close to atmospheric as it was close to the flare, therefore high velocities at the weld point. The velocity calcs that I was providing our project team were deemed too high by them, as they feared losing the coupon (for some reason, their experience had led them to believe to not exceed 20 mph...yes those exact units...when completing the weld). I thought shouldn’t be a concern for a low molecular weight vapor stream.

The above API doesn’t really bring this up, and brings up a separate point about metal temperature stress that I originally didn’t consider. Any thoughts on this?

_takticalsausage_2 karma

Further down in 577 An appropriate flow rate should be maintained to minimize the possibility of burn-through or combustion. The minimum flow rate is 1.3 ft/sec. (0.4 m/sec.) for liquid and gas. For liquids, the maximum flow rate is usually required to minimize risk of high hardness weld zone due to fast cooling rate. The allowable maximum flow rate depends on the process temperature. In general, 4.0 ft/sec. (1.2 m/sec.) is the upper limit. There is no restriction on maximum velocity for gas lines, subject to maintaining preheat temperatures.

Trailslayer2213 karma

How long have you been doing it? Have you ever been offered money to look the other way? What’s your most common infraction? What’s the most severe infraction you’ve found?

_takticalsausage_25 karma

I have been inspecting for the last 12 years, early on in my career there were a few times where a difficult weld was trying to be signed off. I had found defects in the weld and was offered money to look the other way, my integrity has no price as that is all I have in my field.

Common discoveries are defects in welds, deteriorated materials due to age and environment, I have encountered severe corrosion that the owner/user has decided to look the other way on.

Trailslayer225 karma

Sorry I didn’t read the text under the title, that clearly states how long live been doing it. I’m a jackass sometimes. It’s interesting that the facility I work(fertilizer plant) has the same issues.

_takticalsausage_5 karma

It's okay, I have never worked in a fertilizer plant but not at all surprising. The last 3 years of my career have been in a terminal in the Caribbean so we have many environmental challenges as far as corrosion is concerned.

thatguyrich589113 karma

What’s it like having money ?

_takticalsausage_32 karma

Mo money mo problems

iwouldrun500miles9 karma

How does one become an API inspector in the first place, and does it pay well?

_takticalsausage_7 karma

captain5549 karma

Do you know an Indian dude named Abhay?

_takticalsausage_7 karma

Can't say I have ever met said dude.


Could you speak to how easy it would be to reduce spills in above-ground pipelines?

Of course it's impossible to ever complete eliminate spills, but how much would it cost to substantially reduce spillage from the current level?

Would you support increased spending on spill prevention, or do you think the status quo is proportionate?

_takticalsausage_17 karma

Of course I would support increased spending on spill prevention! Not only for the environment but it is also job security for myself. The risk to the environment is actually much lower than it used to be, still a lot of piping is getting up in age and without proper inspection and repair the risk of spills/leaks will obviously be higher.

If a normal inspection plan is put into place and repairs are carried out the risk will be much lower. Add in proper coating and cathodic protection for extra layers of security

Voidtalon1 karma

How rampant a problem is old/outdated piping?

I remember reading from some real estate folks that they still are finding lead lined pipes in old houses that aren't properly treated or the water has iron in it which eats away the sealant from the pipe causing lead leech (not oil but still pipes).

_takticalsausage_1 karma

I only inspect piping in an industrial setting

HengaHox7 karma

What kind of education do you need to be an inspector?

FatherSquee4 karma

Do you have just your Visual? Or do you have other tickets like UT/MT/PT as well?

If you are doing methods beyond visual, what do you do when you need to inspect something in a tight space which makes it hard to use your equipment? The blind locations where the welder can barely fit their stinger in let alone a mirror or a yoke?

_takticalsausage_6 karma

I currently have 653/570 UT/MT/PT/MFL

If the welder can barely fit his stinger you could probably still use PT as a method, maybe water washable if you cant get a can inside. Then the final examination could be completed via boroscope

caustic_cock3 karma


_takticalsausage_1 karma

I am going for my 510 next then it will be a tossup between 580 or CWI.

It really depends on what your background is, either way CWI and API 1169 would be a great pairing to get on the pipeline then head out for the main 3 510/570/653

TheBananaCabana2 karma

I’ve always wondered how do you guys inspect UST’s? Or do API inspectors even handle inspections on underground tanks?

_takticalsausage_3 karma

They can be inspected internally, we can use ultrasonic testing to check the material for loss even if we cannot see it visually

greatdane1142 karma

Do you inspect EX equipment?

_takticalsausage_5 karma

I inspect piping and above ground storage tanks currently

nachocheesefactory2 karma

Ever wonder about the repercussions for working in the oil industry and how it releases CO2 into the atmosphere? Climate change is becoming a huge problem and nobody seems to bad an eye.

_takticalsausage_9 karma

Repercussions as far as being involved in general?

I am aware that refineries release various chemicals into the atmosphere, in my field we are concerned with limiting or completely stopping the release of any gasses, vapors, or liquids. I am by no means involved at a higher level with the client nor am I involved with the EPA so I can't comment much on releases.

djt10172 karma

Is materials science a large part of your job/is it a good degree for this field?

_takticalsausage_1 karma

I could see it being more valuable on the client side versus the contractor side. Still would definitely be a plus to an inspector

TheTrueLordHumungous2 karma

Do you see a long term trend for UT replacing of completely surpassing RT for NDE or will there always be a place for radiography?

_takticalsausage_1 karma

We currently only use PAUT onsite, they both have limitations. I don't see RT going away in our lifetimes

ProbablyHighAsShit2 karma

Were you involved in any oversight regarding the construction of DAPL, and if you were, how did it get the go-ahead?

_takticalsausage_6 karma

I have never worked on DAPL, I am familiar with the project. Most of my work has been in a refinery setting or offshore for companies like BP, Exxon Mobil, and Lyondell to name a few

ProbablyHighAsShit-3 karma

Ok. So where was the oversight when Deepwater Horizon went up in flames?

_takticalsausage_9 karma

That was an owner/user call, add in the use of inferior materials and you have a recipe for disaster. The company I am currently contracted to did conduct post disaster assessments of the equipment that failed.

Our main task is to prevent loss of life, damage to the environment, and loss of income to the client. The owner/user has ultimate say in the end and can choose to not follow our recommendations if they wish.

IrishYoda04861 karma

If I may, our main job is to ensure mechanical integrity. Those three you listed are by-products of us doing our jobs.

_takticalsausage_1 karma

Yes, I felt like it was a better explanation than just saying mechanical integrity.

ProbablyHighAsShit-12 karma

Didn't answer my question. What should have happened that could have prevented it?

_takticalsausage_9 karma

Proper inspection of the cement maybe utilizing acoustic emission or eddy current testing could have possibly found the defects. Using better cement in the first place probably would have helped.

0v3r_cl0ck3d2 karma

What movie or TV show do you think is underated?

_takticalsausage_1 karma

I don't watch a lot of TV but when I do it's usually something light that I don't have to think too much about. I enjoyed binge watching Young Sheldon a couple of months ago.

tsaxkid2 karma

Two questions.

In your opinion, what's the best way to inspect for CUI without having to remove the insulation? Maybe multiple methods in conjunction?

Second, what's your opinion on inspecting deep well canned pumps? More specifically, how would you test for the integrity of the can (bottom weld most importantly) if it can't be removed from the ground? Guided wave? Or would a hydrotest suffice?

_takticalsausage_1 karma

RTR (real time radiography) would be a great candidate for the CUI examination or Guided Wave.

I have never inspected a deep well canned pump so I cannot comment but would be interested in the answer when you figure it out.

DazzlingSpace2 karma

What do you think about underground oil storages?I mean are they worth their cost?

DazzlingSpace2 karma

If not,what other alternatives do you think are good.?

_takticalsausage_2 karma

Are you asking about the strategic petroleum reserve?

DazzlingSpace2 karma


_takticalsausage_1 karma

I have no opinion on the SPR

Gblack123452 karma

Thoughts on build-up of shale production? Have you spent time in the Permian, what do you think about the reports of hold-ups because lack of infrastructure, material, etc.?

_takticalsausage_2 karma

I haven't had the opportunity to work the Permian. I had a contract with Exxon for their upstream and then came to the Virgin Islands to recommission the storage tanks.

I think anything that benefits the US is great as long as the work is carried out in a responsible manner in regards to human life and the environment

Broken_and_Ugly2 karma

What’s the average salary of this job? And education requirements?

_takticalsausage_2 karma

I would say the avg salary is 120 K give or take 10 k on a 40 hour work week. This can vary though by how the contract was negotiated, add in per diem if you are travelling.

A lot of these jobs require many hours of overtime so that will obviously increase your income.

Required education https://www.api.org/products-and-services/individual-certification-programs/certifications

coryrenton2 karma

how would you rate the major oil companies in terms of compliance, cost-cutting, etc...?

_takticalsausage_2 karma

Compliance based on my experience Exxon, Oneok, Chevron, Shell, Lyondell, BP.

Cost Cutting, Exxon is by far the cheapest in my department, BP being the next runner up. The others don't try to cut too much

coryrenton2 karma

that's interesting that exxon manages to be the most compliant yet also the cheapest

_takticalsausage_2 karma

They have always taken care of their equipment and most contractors will bid low because it is long term work.

_takticalsausage_2 karma

Everyone wants the Exxon contracts

reality_aholes2 karma

You're going to confuse a lot of redditors as they are think of the other meaning of API that relates to software engineering lol.

But as someone who used to be out in that dusty west Texas heat, power on brother. I used to do a lot of controls engineering out along pipelines all over from OK to New Mexico.

How many miles do you put on your vehicle a year?

_takticalsausage_1 karma

Not many now as I have settled into a long term project in the Caribbean, couldnt tell you how many we used to log driving from Houston to Mobile, to south Texas near Corpus then off to Wyoming or some other location.

Princergas1 karma

Have you inspected in Saudi companies such as SABIC/ ARAMCO? do you think they are compliant with the standards as much as other countries?

_takticalsausage_1 karma

I have not worked overseas, I have tried for a while to get on an Aramco job but they are usually taken by inspectors with much more experience than myself

GourdGuard1 karma

How future proof do you think your job is? Refiners aren't making the money they once did and alternative energy sources are taking a bigger part of the load nationally and the size of that part is growing. On top of that, automation with respect to continuous monitoring is only going to get better and better.

_takticalsausage_3 karma

Someone has to inspect a lot of the alternative energy sources like wind farms, the wind farm equipment is inspected before it is erected as well. A new law is coming into play that requires even lower sulfur fuels to be used so many refineries will need to be modified which will also require more inspection. I feel pretty safe in my current field.

The_Truth_Was_a_Cave1 karma

Are you worried about job security in a world where an increasing number of inspections are becoming automated?

_takticalsausage_3 karma

Not at all, the inspections we conduct would be difficult to add automation to.

MLSW1011 karma

Can share any API standard book or pdfs with us ? Or where to download ? Tq.

_takticalsausage_1 karma

You can purchase from techstreet.com it's illegal to share the code books.

your_daughters_nudes1 karma

Have you spent a lot of time in the Watford City ND area? Lived in town 6 months and has been ramping up again like they’re expecting another boom

_takticalsausage_5 karma

All of my work has been along the gulf coast except for a few jobs in Wyoming and California. I hope they can ramp back up, it's good for the local economy.

abiblicalusername1 karma

Can you advise me on how to deal with a consultant who insist on following API 676 by the books. His coming towards all our pump installations that couplings must have a radial alignment less than 0.05mm out of tolerance. I tried explaining it doesn't make sense, as the heat from the sun expands the shafts, it is going to shift more than 0.05mm in radial alignment. How should I counter this?

_takticalsausage_1 karma

He is a consultant and you are the owner/user?