Crowcon - Detecting Gas Saving Lives
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Refinery and
Petrochemical
Industry

Introduction

Oil and gas is the world’s biggest industrial sector, in terms of both value generation and employment opportunity. It generates billions of dollars globally and employs hundreds of thousands of workers worldwide. Some oil companies’ revenue exceeds that of some nations’ GDP.

Closely linked to oil and gas, the petrochemicals industry takes raw materials from refining and gas processing and, through chemical process technologies, converts them into valuable products. In this sector, the organic chemicals produced in the largest volumes are methanol, ethylene, propylene, butadiene, benzene, toluene and xylenes (BTX). These chemicals are the building blocks of many consumer goods including plastics, clothing fabric, construction materials, synthetic detergents and agrichemical products.

The oil and gas industry generates many workplace hazards, and management of these is critical to maintain a high level of safety and protect both people and assets. All electrical equipment must be certified according to IEC60079-0, for use in explosive atmospheres that contain flammable gases or dusts. Approval may take months and many rounds of submission. What is more, in addition to hazardous area approval, individual countries will require local certification such as Inmetro, Kosha and CCC.

The oil and gas industry can be further divided into:

Upstream
Midstream
Downstream

Gas Hazards in Refinery and Petrochemical Sector

Process Area

Typical processes and associated gas detection issues

Upstream

Fixed and portable gas detectors are needed to protect plant and personnel from the risks of flammable gas releases (commonly methane) as well as from high levels of H2S, particularly from sour wells. Gas detectors for O2 depletion, SO2 and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are required items of personal protection equipment (PPE), which is usually highly visible colour and worn near breathing space. Key requirements for gas detectors are rugged and reliable design and long battery life. Models with design elements that support easy fleet management and compliance obviously have an advantage. You can read about VOC risk and Crowcon’s solution in our case study .

Midstream

Fixed monitoring of flammable gases situated close to pressure relief devices, filling and emptying areas is necessary to deliver early warning of localised leaks. Multigas portable monitors must be used to maintain personal safety, especially during work in confined spaces and supporting hot work permit area testing. Infrared technology in flammable gas detection 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. You can read more on how infrared detection works in our blog and read our case study of infrared monitoring in refinery settings in Southeast Asia.

Portable laser methane detection (LMm) allows users to pin-point leaks at 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. Using LMm is a quick and effective way to check areas for methane with a reflector, from up to 100m away. These areas include closed buildings, confined spaces and other difficult-to-reach areas such as above-ground pipelines that are near water or behind fences. Read more about LMm in our news release.

Downstream

In downstream refining, personal detectors must have a bump testing station, to ensure each detector responds to the target gas and that its alarm is still functional. The ongoing demand to reduce facility down-time whilst ensuring safety, especially during shutdown and turnaround operations, means that gas detection manufacturers must deliver solutions offering ease of use, straightforward training and reduced maintenance times, along with local service and support.

During plant shutdown, processes are stopped, items of equipment are opened and checked and the number of people and moving vehicles at the site is many times higher than normal. Many of the processes undertaken will be hazardous and require specific gas monitoring. For example, welding and tank cleaning activities require area monitors as well as personal monitors to protect those on site.

Products Refinery and Petrochemical

Portable Monitors
Laser Methane Mini (LMm)

An innovative long-range portable methane gas detector which allows methane gas to be detected at distances of up to 100m

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Gas-Pro

A multi gas detector offering 5 gas support as well as a dedicated pre-entry check mode and optional pump feature

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Gas-Pro IR

A personal multi–gas monitor that can detect methane, pentane or propane using infrared (IR) technology

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Detective+

Multi-gas monitor for temporary areas

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T4

Portable 4-in-1 gas detector with new sensor technologies

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Gas-Pro TK

Ideal for flammable gas detection at any concentration

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Fixed Monitors
Xgard

Fixed multi gas detector

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Xgard Bright

Addressable fixed head detector with OLED display

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XgardIQ

Sil2 certified, versatile and transmitter compatible fixed detector available with alarm and fault relays

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IRMax

An ultra-compact infrared (IR) fixed gas monitor that delivers rapid, fail-safe detection of hydrocarbon gases and vapours

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Fgard IR3 Flame Detector

An explosion proof multi spectrum IR flame detector with heated optics for cleared results

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Addressable Controllers

Local non-intrusive operation & display with simultaneous live reading display and alarm functions via colour LCD display

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Industry Insights

CASE STUDY
Gas Pro TK: Saving lives in a Southeast Asian refinery

One of Southeast Asia’s largest refineries now specifies Gas-Pro TK detectors to check for combustible gases before workers enter potentially hazardous confined spaces.

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CASE STUDY
Detecting Hydrogen Fluoride in a Singapore Refinery

This large-scale refinery has been using Crowcon gas detection solutions for over 10 years. From personal monitors to fixed point detectors, Crowcon provides a complete maintenance and calibration service, ensuring all equipment used on site complies with their site’s health, safety and environmental procedures.

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BLOG
Servicing for safety… A visit to the oil refinery

One of our customers was kind enough to facilitate an onsite visit so that Andrea (our Halma Future Leader on a marketing placement) could see first-hand how our products are used and who the end users are. This meant a visit to an oil refinery to see where our Crowcon portable gas detectors are used.

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