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A Thumbnail History of the American Petroleum Institute

by Sentry Energy Production LLC

The American Petroleum Institute (API) serves as a major nationwide membership organization that represents individuals and companies working in the oil and natural gas industries. It traces its origins to World War I, when the petroleum industry began to work closely with the United States Congress in support of the war effort. The various companies that had been formed after the 1911 Supreme Court-ordered dismantling of the giant Standard Oil Company came together to assist the government. Under the oversight of the National Petroleum War Service Committee, these companies worked with the goal of ensuring quick, efficient delivery of oil supplies to frontline troops.
In 1919, members of the fledgling API created a charter that outlined the organization’s responsibilities. These included cooperation with officials and government agencies in times of crisis, furthering the goals of the petroleum production industry in the United States, fostering the scientific and technical education of its members, and the domestic and international promotion of trade.
Today’s API focuses on advocating for its members’ interests by liaising with regulatory agencies and other government entities, addressing fair and efficient means of taxation affecting the industry, and promoting equipment standardization and public education in addition to the collection of relevant statistics.                            
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