Commercial Impact Summary of API 6A 21st Ed. (effective Nov. 2019) Purpose

The purpose of this memorandum is to briefly summarize Valveworks USA’s position regarding the commercial impact of the release of the American Petroleum Institute (API) Specification 6A, 21st Edition effective November 2019. This memorandum is not intended to summarize the specification, provide any management of change information, nor provide any comparison or gap analysis between the two documents. It is intended to give the reader an overview of the impact of the change from a commercial point of view, mainly as related to existing inventory. Note: Always refer to the applicable specification for the latest changes including any Addendum or Errata. Valveworks USA, Inc. makes no representation, warranty, or guarantee in connection with any document or specification mentioned herein. 

API Specification 6A Scope API Specification 6A identifies requirements and gives recommendations for the performance, dimensional and functional interchangeability, design, materials, testing, inspection, welding, marking, handling, storing, shipment, and purchasing of wellhead and tree equipment for use in the petroleum and natural gas industries. 

API Monogram® Program Scope Through the API Monogram® Program, API licenses product manufacturers to apply the API Monogram to new products that comply with product specifications and have been manufactured under a quality management system that meets the requirements of API Q1, the specification that establishes minimum quality management system requirements for organizations that manufacture products or provide manufacturing-related processes under a product specification for the use in the petroleum and natural gas industries. 

20th Edition Expiration / 21st Edition Effective Date The 20th Edition of API 6A went into effect April 1, 2011 and will expire on October 31, 2019. The 21st Edition was released in November 2018, and will officially go into effect per the API Monogram® Program on November 1, 2019. 

Valveworks USA Participation The committee responsible for the writing, balloting, and the approval of this latest edition diligently spent countless hours working on this specification that is critical to our industry. As a corporate member of the API, Valveworks USA had the honor and pleasure of providing several key quality & engineering-related personnel involved in this process. We had a first-hand view of the process which gave us the opportunity to prepare for many of the changes that this latest edition of the 6A specification brings to our industry. Collaborating with our industry leaders in this process has proven to be beneficial to the management, maintenance, and continual improvement of our quality management system. 

Core Business Valveworks USA manufactures the most comprehensive gate valve product line of any independent API 6A licensed manufacturer in the world. The company’s core business is providing valves ranging from small bore with basic materials for standard production environments to large bore with exotic material requirements and extreme temperature environments, and anything in between. In order to effectively manage this business model, Valveworks USA is a highly inventory intensive organization. We maintain high levels of inventory on a component level which gives us the flexibility to meet a wide variety of demand in a real-time production environment. 

Commercial Impact The 6A specification has been rearranged substantially and there have been significant material requirement changes made as well. The changes made are ultimately for the greater good of our industry as a whole. Requirements are now stricter than ever, which we view positively because it increases accountability for product integrity, which in turn increases safety, performance, and reliability. Valveworks USA has been proactively preparing for the new release for quite some time now. Due to inventory levels of certain components, we face some challenges that we will work through over the next few months to a year. It is not our purpose to burden you, the customer with these challenges, but to offer what we hope to be cost-effective solutions while maintaining the industry-leading level of quality that is expected with the Valveworks USA brand. It is our job as the licensed manufacturer to continue to provide you with 6A monogrammed equipment in full compliance with the standard while managing the economic impact to the best of our ability. 

Management of Change / Purchasing Assistance Affected inventories include, but are not limited to: cast valve bodies, large forged valve bodies (1,000+ lbs.), and bolting. These changes have placed some components in a position of potential obsolescence. During the initial transition phase to meet the requirements of the 21st edition, some gate valves will require substantial lead times. This is due to the time required for full product realization and implementation of the management of change (MOC). There will be alternative options in some cases during this transition phase (i.e. using a forged valve body where a cast valve body has been used historically). There may be cases where non- monogrammed options may be possible that will allow the use of existing inventories that were in compliance with the 20th edition, but are obsolete per the 21st edition. This would allow Valveworks USA to liquidate inventory at very reasonable pricing in cases where a concession can be made on the 6A monogram. Annex. B of the 21st Edition provides guidelines for the enquiry and purchase of wellhead and tree equipment. There are data sheets, typical wellhead configurations, decision trees, etc… that are extremely helpful. Although the purchaser is ultimately responsible for determining the requirements of the equipment, Valveworks USA will be glad to provide assistance in the process when it is determined to fall within our scope of manufacturing. 

Valveworks USA’s Commitment to Quality In order to manufacture API 6A monogrammed products compliant to the 21st Edition of the specification, which is at the core of our business model, production costs will inevitably increase, resulting with an increase in net sales pricing. Valveworks USA remains committed to manufacturing and supplying the highest quality products at the highest level of qualification and quality assurance with the lowest cost effective price. Other cost savings options are available to you, the customer, for quality assured products, produced by a Quality Assured Company (Valveworks USA). We look forward to collaborating with you into this new era in our industry. 

Helpful Technical Information Regarding API 6A 21st Edition Changes 

  • Closure Bolting – For products monogrammed per API 6A 21st Edition, all closure bolting shall be qualified and manufactured in accordance with API 20E (Alloy & Carbon Steel Bolting Requirements) or API 20F (Corrosion-Resistant Bolting Requirements) 
  • Qualification Test Coupon (QTC) Equivalent Round (ER) – For PSL 3, for bodies that require a yield strength of 75K or greater and where the part’s weight during heat treat is greater than 1,000 lbs. (454 kg), the QTC ER shall be the same or greater than the part it qualifies but is not required to exceed 10 inches (250 mm). Exceptions are provided
  • Cast Product Requirements – For cast products monogrammed per API 21st Edition, production castings shall meet the requirements of API 20A (Requirements for Carbon Steel, Alloy Steel, Stainless Steel, and Nickel Base Alloy Castings) and API 6A. Castings will require a minimum of CSL 2 for PSL 1 products, and CSL 3 for PSL 2 or PSL 3 products. 
  • Minimum Product Specification Level (PSL) – Products manufactured to the requirements of the API 6A specification are defined by different levels of technical quality requirements. Requirements for materials, welding, quality, and testing are clearly defined by the 6A specification for PSL 1, PSL 2, PSL 3, and PSL 4 products. Historically, the manufacturer could designate all material classes and rated working pressures to any PSL, provided it was covered in their license scope. The 21st Edition requirement limits PSL designations per material class and rated working pressure combinations. The minimum PSL required for material class and rated working pressure combinations shall conform as follows:  
MATERIAL CLASS                                                                          RATED WORKING PRESSURE
2,000 psi3,000 psi5,000 psi10,000 psi15,000 psi20,000 psi
AA, BB, CCPSL 1PSL 1PSL 1PSL 2PSL 2PSL 3
DD, EE, FFPSL 1PSL 1PSL 1PSL 2PSL 3PSL 3
HHPSL 3PSL 3PSL 3PSL 3PSL 3PSL 4

  • H2S Partial Pressure – Material Classes DD, EE, FF, and HH shall include as part of the designation and marking the maximum allowable partial pressure of hydrogen sulfide (H2S), when a value is specified by NACE MR0175 / ISO 15156 in units consistent with the rated working pressure markings and prefixes. Where no H2S limit is defined by NACE MR0175 / ISO 15156 for the partial pressure, no partial pressure shall be marked. See below reference example / illustration. 
20th Edition21st Edition
No defined H2S limitEE-NLEE
0.5 max pHS(0,5)EE (0,5)
1.5 max pHS(0,5)EE (0,5)

  •  Hydrostatic Test Acceptance Criteria – The requirements regarding the variance of monitored pressure are much more stringent in the 21st Edition compared to the 20th Edition. Valveworks USA’s development and implementation of technologically advanced pressure-test equipment has allowed us to stay ahead of these requirements over the past few years, and has driven our approach to continuous improvement on this topic. 
  • Operating Torque, Supply Pressure, and / or Electrical Current – A completely new requirement to the 6A specification is that PSL 3 and PSL 4 valves (except for check valves) will require this to be measured while operating under full differential to confirm that the values fall within the manufacturer’s specified requirements for manual and actuated valves.