With the aim of supporting the oil and gas industry internationally within their gas detection requirements, Crowcon provides solutions to organisations across all of the main sectors. Across upstream, midstream and downstream operations, we facilitate the safety of those with their feet on the ground, doing vital work as they carry out their daily activities.
|Upstream oil and gas enterprises have to deal with a range of hazardous gases, from explosive to toxic vapours, or both. With operations covering exploration and drilling for potential oil and gas sources, and the recovery and production of crude oil and natural gas, upstream operations are wide ranging. The sector includes offshore rigs, FPSO and production platforms, and encompasses challenging solid waste treatment which comprises a range of contaminants.
|Midstream processes encompass the storage, processing and transportation of fuel products. Raw products are held in storage areas until they are needed for the next process, or to be transported to a refinery. Maintaining the integrity of storage and transportation vessels, as well as protecting personnel during cleaning, purging and filling activities are constant challenges within the midstream sector.
|Downstream processes involve the conversion of these resources into the finished products as required and are used at the end point of the oil and gas process. Products such as jet fuel, diesel fuel, asphalt and petroleum coke are created through the refinement and processing activities, which are then distributed for sale. Downstream operations regularly deal with Turnarounds (TAR) periods, which can be unforeseen and therefore affect regular processes including the capacity to remain on top of health and safety protocols.
Oil and Gas can present multiple gas hazards, which makes gas detection and monitoring crucial. The table below shows some examples.
Appropriate gas detection solutions are paramount throughout all streams of oil and gas, but specifically at the beginning of the process within exploration activities where a range of techniques for finding sites for drilling and extraction are undertaken. This is a hazardous task due to the discovery and potential uncovering of various hydrocarbons such as Volatile Organic Compounds, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, as well as Particulate Matter (PM2.5 and PM10). Ensuring workers are equipped with the relevant gas detection equipment is important to ensure they are alerted to the presence of harmful gases within plenty of time.
Perimeter monitoring processes involve the usage of specific technology that measures the ambient air concentration of a particular chemical at the perimeter line of a site, whether this is at a petroleum refinery or a chemical plant. This monitoring is crucial to ensuring wide ranging awareness across your whole site and to ultimately avoid the consumption or distribution of harmful materials and gases.
The undertaking of hot works pose considerable risks, including the production of a source of ignition such as flames, sparks and temperatures high enough to ignite flammable gases or combustible materials. Ensuring personal safety in these situations through the use of multigas portable monitors is paramount. Infrared technology is of particular importance within flammable gas detection, which supports purging with the ability to operate in inert atmospheres and delivers reliable detection in areas where pellistor type detectors would fail, due to poisoning or volume level exposure.
Avoiding unnecessary shutdowns and maintenance across oil and gas applications is crucial, specifically when work is undertaken in remote and variable environments, such as rigs or offshore spaces. Utilising a reliable and robust gas detection monitoring system is an ideal way to monitor potential hazards, and ensure that shutdowns and any required maintenance procedures can be undertaken in a way that reduces downtime and operational inefficiency.
With the risk of localised leaks across all streams of the oil and gas industry, ensuring fixed gas detection is vital in order to stay abreast of the potential hazards. Flammable gases can be situated close to pressure relief devices and as a result the filling and emptying of areas is necessary to deliver early warning of localised leaks. The use of portable laser methane detection (LMm) allows users to pin-point leaks from a distance and in hard-to-reach areas, reducing the need for personnel to enter potentially dangerous environments or situations while performing routine or investigative leak monitoring.
Oil and gas standards and certifications matter when you are working in a sector with a multitude of hazards. Ensuring the gas detection equipment you invest in is properly certified to a safe and reliable level enables peace of mind that workers are safeguarded. This specific level of protection and robustness is what SIL standards and certifications measure and regulate.
What is SIL?
The SIL level number is defined by the amount of risk reduction needed to maintain an acceptable rate of failure, as determined within the IEC 61508 standard. In line with this, SIL2 certified products are defined as having a ‘low statistical risk of failure that you do not know about in the product’.
The difference between SIL1 and SIL2
The differences between SIL1 and SIL2 standards tend to relate to the ability for a product to self-test when it comes to hardware units, alongside lower maintenance requirements, more rigorous development processes and well recorded software.
Knowing that the sensor being used meets SIL2 levels assures the operator that strict attempts have been undertaken to ensure safety across electrical, electronic and programmable systems.