Handbook of Fire & Explosion Protection Engineering Principles for Oil, Gas, Chemical, & Related Facilities


  • Dennis P. Nolan, Loss Prevention Manager and Chief Fire Prevention Engineer, Saudi Aramco

The security and economic stability of many nations and multinational oil companies are highly dependent on the safe and uninterrupted operation of their oil, gas and chemical facilities. One of the most critical impacts that can occur to these operations are fires and explosions from accidental or political incidents. This publication is intended as a general engineering handbook and reference guideline for those personnel involved with fire and explosion protection aspects of critical hydrocarbon facilities. Design guidelines and specifications of major, small and independent oil companies as well as information from engineering firms and published industry references have been reviewed to assist in its preparation. Some of the latest published practices and research into fire and explosions have also been mentioned.
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Safety engineers, plants managers and hygiene personnel in the chemical and petrochemical industries.


Book information

  • Published: December 1996
  • ISBN: 978-0-8155-1394-0

Table of Contents

1. Introduction Historical Background Legal Influences Hazards and Their Prevention Systems Approach Fire Protection Engineering Role Risk Management and Insurance Senior Management Responsibility and Accountability2. Overview of Oil and Gas Facilities Exploration Production Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) Secondary Recovery Tertiary Recovery Transportation Refining Typical Refinery Process Flow Marketing3. Philosophy of Protection Principals General Philosophy Worst Case Conditions Independent Layers of Protection (ILP) Design Principles Accountability and Auditability4. Physical Properties of Hydrocarbons General Characteristics of Hydrocarbons Lower Explosive Limit (LEL)/Upper Explosive Limit (UEL) Flash Point (FP) Autoignition Temperature (AIT) Vapor Density Vapor Pressure Specific Gravity Flammable Combustible Heat of Combustion Description of Some Common Hydrocarbons5. Characteristics of Hydrocarbon Releases, Fires and Explosions Hydrocarbon Releases Gaseous Releases Mists or Spray Releases Liquid Releases Nature and Chemistry of Hydrocarbon Combustion Hydrocarbon Fires Nature of Hydrocarbon Explosions Semi-Confined Explosion Overpressures Vapor Cloud Explosion Overpressures Boiling Liquid Expanding Vapor Explosions (BLEVE) Smoke and Combustion Gases Mathematical Consequence Modeling Methods of Flame Extinguishment Selection of Fire Control and Suppression Methods Terminology of Hydrocarbon Explosions and Fires6. Historical Survey of Fire and Explosions in the Hydrocarbon Industries Relevancy of Incidents Offshore Oil Production and Exploration (USA) Summary7. Risk Analysis Safety Flow Chart Risk Identification and Evaluation Risk Acceptance Criteria Relevant and Accurate Data Resources8. Segregation, Separation and Arrangement Segregation Separation Manned Facilities and Locations Storage Facilities├╣Tanks Process Units Flares Critical Utilities and Support Systems Fire Zones Arrangement Facility Access and Egress9. Grading, Containment, and Drainage Systems Drainage Systems Surface Drainage Spill Containment10. Process Controls Human Observation Instrumentation and Automation Electronic Process Control Process System Instrumentation and Alarms Transfer and Storage Controls Burner Management Systems11. Emergency Shutdown Definition and Objective Design Philosophy Activation Mechanisms Levels of Shutdown Reliability and Fail Safe Logic ESD/DCS Interfaces Activation Points Activation Hardware Features Isolation Valve Requirements Emergency Isolation Valves (EIV) Subsea Isolation Valves (SSIV) Protection Requirements System Interactions12. Depressurization, Blowdown and Venting Objective Blowdown Venting Flares13. Overpressure and Thermal Relief Pressure Relief Valves (PSV) Thermal Relief Solar Heat Pressure Relief Device Locations14. Control of Ignition Sources Open Flames, Hot Work and Smoking Electrical Arrangements Electrical Area Classification Classified Locations and Release Sources Protection Measures Relocation of Devices Surface Temperatures Static Lightning Internal Combustion Engines Spark Arrestors Hand Tools15. Elimination of Process Releases Inventory Reduction Vents and Relief Valves Sample Points Drainage Systems Storage Facilities Pump Seals Vibration Stress Failure of Piping Rotating Equipment16. Fire and Explosion Resistant Systems Explosions Definition of Explosion Potentials Explosion Protective Design Arrangements Vapor Dispersion Enhancements Damage Limiting Construction Fireproofing Fireproofing Specifications Fireproofing Materials Radiation Shields Water Cooling Sprays Vapor Dispersion Water Sprays Locations Requiring Consideration of Fire Resistant Measures Flame Resistance Fire Dampers Smoke Dampers Flame and Spark Arrestors Piping Detonation Arrestors17. Fire and Gas Detection and Alarm Systems Fire and Smoke Detection Methods Human Surveillance Manual Activation Callpoint (MAC)/Manual Pull Station (MPS) Telephone Reporting Portable Radios Smoke Detectors Thermal or Heat Detectors Optical (Flame) Detectors Gas Detection Application Typical Hydrocarbon Facility Applications Catalytic Detectors Infra-Red (IR) Beam Gas Detection Alarm Setting Calibration Hazardous Area Classification Rating Fire and Gas Detection Control Panels Graphic Annunciation Power Supplies Emergency Backup Power Time Delay Voting Logic Cross Zoning Executive Action Circuit Supervision18. Evacuation Alarms and Notifications Alarm Initiation Evacuation Routes Emergency Doors, Exits, and Escape Hatches Marking and Identification Emergency Illumination Offshore Evacuation North/South Atlantic and North/South Pacific Environments Temperate and Tropic Environments Means of Egress Flotation Assistance19. Methods of Fire Suppression Portable Fire Extinguishers Water Suppression Systems Water Supplies Fire Pumps Fire Pump Standards and Tests Firewater Distribution Systems Firewater Control and Isolation Valves Sprinkler Systems Water Deluge Systems Water Spray Systems Water Flooding Steam Smothering Water Curtains Blow Out Water Injection System Hydrants, Monitors and Hose Reels Nozzles Foamwater Suppression Systems Gaseous Systems Chemical Systems Dual Agent Systems20. Special Locations, Facilities and Equipment Arctic Environments Desert Environments Offshore Facilities Offshore Floating Exploration and Production Facilities Pipelines Wellheads├╣Exploration (Onshore and Offshore) Loading Facilities Electrical Equipment and Communication Rooms Battery Rooms Enclosed Turbines or Gas Compressor Packages Heat Transfer Systems Cooling Towers Oil Filled Transformers Hydrocarbon Testing Laboratories Warehouses Cafeterias and Kitchens21. Human Factor and Ergonomic Considerations Human Attitude Access and Acceptability Instructions, Markings and Labeling Color and Identification Numbering and Identification Instrumentation Alarm Overload Noise Control Panic Security Accommodation of Religious Functions Appendix A: Testing Firewater Systems Appendix B: Reference Data Acronym List Glossary Index