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

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

1st Edition - December 31, 1996

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  • Author: Dennis P. Nolan
  • eBook ISBN: 9780815517528

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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.


Safety engineers, plants managers and hygiene personnel in the chemical and petrochemical industries.

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 Accountability
    2. Overview of Oil and Gas Facilities
    Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR)
    Secondary Recovery
    Tertiary Recovery
    Typical Refinery Process Flow
    3. Philosophy of Protection Principals
    General Philosophy
    Worst Case Conditions
    Independent Layers of Protection (ILP)
    Design Principles
    Accountability and Auditability
    4. Physical Properties of Hydrocarbons
    Characteristics of Hydrocarbons
    Lower Explosive Limit (LEL)/Upper Explosive Limit (UEL)
    Flash Point (FP)
    Autoignition Temperature (AIT)
    Vapor Density
    Vapor Pressure
    Specific Gravity
    Heat of Combustion
    Description of Some Common Hydrocarbons
    5. 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 Fires
    6. Historical Survey of Fire and Explosions in the Hydrocarbon Industries
    Relevancy of Incidents
    Offshore Oil Production and Exploration (USA)
    7. Risk Analysis
    Safety Flow Chart
    Risk Identification and Evaluation
    Risk Acceptance Criteria
    Relevant and Accurate Data Resources
    8. Segregation, Separation and Arrangement
    Manned Facilities and Locations
    Storage FacilitiesùTanks
    Process Units
    Critical Utilities and Support Systems
    Fire Zones
    Facility Access and Egress
    9. Grading, Containment, and Drainage Systems
    Drainage Systems
    Surface Drainage
    Spill Containment
    10. Process Controls
    Human Observation
    Instrumentation and Automation
    Electronic Process Control
    Process System Instrumentation and Alarms
    Transfer and Storage Controls
    Burner Management Systems
    11. 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 Interactions
    12. Depressurization, Blowdown and Venting
    13. Overpressure and Thermal Relief
    Pressure Relief Valves (PSV)
    Thermal Relief
    Solar Heat
    Pressure Relief Device Locations
    14. 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
    Internal Combustion Engines
    Spark Arrestors
    Hand Tools
    15. Elimination of Process Releases
    Inventory Reduction
    Vents and Relief Valves
    Sample Points
    Drainage Systems
    Storage Facilities
    Pump Seals
    Vibration Stress Failure of Piping
    Rotating Equipment
    16. Fire and Explosion Resistant Systems
    Definition of Explosion Potentials
    Explosion Protective Design Arrangements
    Vapor Dispersion Enhancements
    Damage Limiting Construction
    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 Arrestors
    17. 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
    Typical Hydrocarbon Facility Applications
    Catalytic Detectors
    Infra-Red (IR) Beam Gas Detection
    Alarm Setting
    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 Supervision
    18. 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 Assistance
    19. 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
    Foamwater Suppression Systems
    Gaseous Systems
    Chemical Systems
    Dual Agent Systems
    20. Special Locations, Facilities and Equipment
    Arctic Environments
    Desert Environments
    Offshore Facilities
    Offshore Floating Exploration and Production Facilities
    WellheadsùExploration (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
    Cafeterias and Kitchens
    21. 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
    Accommodation of Religious Functions
    Appendix A: Testing Firewater Systems
    Appendix B: Reference Data
    Acronym List

Product details

  • No. of pages: 312
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © William Andrew 1996
  • Published: December 31, 1996
  • Imprint: William Andrew
  • eBook ISBN: 9780815517528

About the Author

Dennis P. Nolan

Dr. Dennis P. Nolan has had a long career devoted to risk engineering, fire protection engineering, loss prevention engineering and systems safety engineering. He holds a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Business Administration from Berne University, Master of Science degree in Systems Management from Florida Institute of Technology and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Fire Protection Engineering from the University of Maryland. He is a U.S. registered professional engineer in fire protection engineering in the state of California.He is currently on the Executive Management staff of Saudi Aramco, located in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, as a Loss Prevention Consultant/Chief Fire Prevention Engineer. He covers some of the largest oil and gas facilities in the world. As part of his career, he has examined oil production, refining, and marketing facilities under severe conditions and in various unique worldwide locations, including Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East, Russia, and North and South America. His activity in the aerospace field has included engineering support for the NASA Space Shuttle launch facilities at Kennedy Space Center (and for those undertaken at Vandenburg Air Force Base, California) and “classified” national defense systems. Dr. Nolan has received numerous safety awards and is a member of the American Society of Safety Engineers, He is the author of many technical papers and professional articles in various international fire safety publications. He has written at least four books, several published by Elsevier.

Affiliations and Expertise

Loss Prevention Consultant and Chief Fire Prevention Engineer, Saudi Aramco

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