Page 1

SPECIAL REPORT

Next Generation Offshore Oil and Gas Life and Asset Protection Solutions Future Proofing the Next Generation Safeguarding Offshore Platforms in an Uncertain World Fighting Fire in the Offshore Oil and Gas Industry Improved Fire and Gas Detection How the Future Will Influence Crew Protection

Sponsored by

Published by Global Business Media


Global Strength. Local Expertise.

Reduce the likelihood of blockages Finally a solution to the worldwide issue affecting offshore firefighting systems

Available Globally & Exclusive from Tyco Tyco’s new adaptor will significantly improve system resilience against nozzle blockages. Combine with our Innovative ITM Deluge resilience service programme for complete confidence that in the event of system operation your systems can achieve water discharge from every nozzle, every time. What will happen... Blockages within the nozzles of Deluge Fire Protection Systems of all pipework materials are common issues. The discharge nozzles often become blocked by saltwater bi-products such as corrosion, limescale, marine growth, marine life, salt crystallisation, MIC and debris. This has a potentially disastrous effect should a fire occur in any marine environment where the Deluge system will fail due to an in-adequate discharge of water.

This new technology and ITM service program brings a cost effective solution for a significant increase in resilience and safety against the spread of fire for any installation that uses seawater in firefighting systems. When this technology is introduced to any fire protection system and coupled with Tyco’s Wet/ Dry resilience maintenance programme, operators can be ensured that Deluge systems will: // Increase operational efficiency 24/7/365 // Operate in full compliance // Reduce costly damage repairs caused by Deluge System failure // Increase safety

For more information please call +44 1224 295191 or email tfis.delugesystems.uk@tycoint.com Manufactured and supplied by Tyco under license from RigDeluge Global Limited

www.tycofis.co.uk

Scan the QR code to watch a video of this in action...


NEXT GENERATION OFFSHORE OIL AND GAS LIFE AND ASSET PROTECTION SOLUTIONS

SPECIAL REPORT

Next Generation Offshore Oil and Gas Life and Asset Protection Solutions Future Proofing the Next Generation

Contents

Safeguarding Offshore Platforms in an Uncertain World Fighting Fire in the Offshore Oil and Gas Industry Improved Fire and Gas Detection How the Future Will Influence Crew Protection

Foreword 2 Tom Cropper, Editor

Future Proofing the Next Generation 3 Simon Rooks, Operations Director, Oil & Gas – Tyco Fire and Integrated Solutions

Problems with Deluge Systems Finding Solutions

Sponsored by

Published by Global Business Media

Published by Global Business Media Global Business Media Limited 62 The Street Ashtead Surrey KT21 1AT United Kingdom Switchboard: +44 (0)1737 850 939 Fax: +44 (0)1737 851 952 Email: info@globalbusinessmedia.org Website: www.globalbusinessmedia.org Publisher Kevin Bell Editor Tom Cropper Business Development Director Marie-Anne Brooks Senior Project Manager Steve Banks Advertising Executives Michael McCarthy Abigail Coombes Production Manager Paul Davies For further information visit: www.globalbusinessmedia.org The opinions and views expressed in the editorial content in this publication are those of the authors alone and do not necessarily represent the views of any organization with which they may be associated. Material in advertisements and promotional features may be considered to represent the views of the advertisers and promoters. The views and opinions expressed in this publication do not necessarily express the views of the Publishers or the Editor. While every care has been taken in the preparation of this publication, neither the Publishers nor the Editor are responsible for such opinions and views or for any inaccuracies in the articles.

Testing the System

Safeguarding Offshore Platforms 6 in an Uncertain World Tom Cropper, Editor

A More Dangerous World Offshore Oil and the Environment Educating the Market

Fighting Fire in the Offshore Oil and Gas Industry

8

Jo Roth, Staff Writer

A Dangerous Business Environmentally Sustainable Surviving Offshore Environments

Improved Fire and Gas Detection

10

James Butler, Staff Writer

Lessons to Learn New Systems Getting it Right

How the Future Will Influence Crew Protection

12

Tom Cropper, Editor

Fire Fighting Systems Will Become More Sophisticated The Rise of Digital Technology Attitudes Will Have to Change

References 14

Š 2016. The entire contents of this publication are protected by copyright. Full details are available from the Publishers. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the copyright owner. WWW.OFFSHORETECHNOLOGYREPORTS.COM | 1


NEXT GENERATION OFFSHORE OIL AND GAS LIFE AND ASSET PROTECTION SOLUTIONS

Foreword D

ANGER HAS always been part and parcel

flammable substances and risky operations. The

of life on board an oil rig. But given the

market, though, is full of innovations specifically

great strides forward being made elsewhere, is

designed to cope with fire in all situations, but with so

the industry doing everything it can to ensure the

many providers available, deciding on the best system

safety of its personnel and what can be done to

can be a challenge.

improve matters?

James Butler will then focus on fire and gas detection

According to the author of our opening article, the

systems. Here, inertia is a significant problem. In an

answer is no. Tyco Fire & Integrated Solutions have

environment of tight profit margins, the temptation

been leading the way in fire prevention technology

can be to stick with what you know. He’ll look at how

for years, but while technology has evolved to greatly

the latest generation of technologies stack up against

enhance crew safety, some existing systems still have

traditional single detection systems.

critical flaws. They argue that the answer lies partly in

Finally, we’ll cast our eyes to the future. The arrival

educating providers about what’s out there, and also

of state-of-the-art detection systems means operators

by changing behaviour.

can do more to detect and locate a risk, evacuate

We’ll then consider the evolving nature of offshore

crew and suppress fire at the earliest stage. As the

work. As the industry pushes the boundaries of what’s

offshore industry moves into a new, more challenging

possible, the risks faced by workers on board the

and dangerous phase, these systems will be critical

platform are rising. We’ll examine the key risk factors

for the safety of crew and equipment.

such as fire, accidents and even terrorism and look at what’s being done to avoid key issues. Jo Roth will then look at every oil worker’s biggest nightmare – fire. Oil platforms are a perfect storm of an enclosed space featuring a cocktail of highly

Tom Cropper Editor

Tom Cropper has produced articles and reports on various aspects of global business over the past 15 years. He has also worked as a copywriter for some of the largest corporations in the world, including ING, KPMG and the World Wildlife Fund.

2 | WWW.OFFSHORETECHNOLOGYREPORTS.COM


NEXT GENERATION OFFSHORE OIL AND GAS LIFE AND ASSET PROTECTION SOLUTIONS

Future Proofing the Next Generation

Global Strength. Local Expertise.

Simon Rooks, Operations Director, Oil & Gas – Tyco Fire and Integrated Solutions

The recent celebrations of 40 years of production from the Forties field has been much welcomed – positive news to the currently deflated Oil and Gas industry. This has also been a time for many Oil and Gas workers to reflect on how the industry has developed in the North Sea over the past four decades.

T

HE FOOTAGE shot on the Forties Alpha platform in the early 1980s clearly shows there have been major advancements with Life and Asset Protection solutions to date. However, the reality is that we still seek innovative solutions to help us drive the next generation and maintain our existing assets. The latest table released from the Oil and Gas Authority in November 2015 shows that the average age of the current manned, operational installation in the UKCS is well over 28 years and these installations are not getting any younger. Therefore, Asset Life and Protection has never been a more topical subject. I recently attended a collaborative, industry focussed conference on Asset Integrity. Operators, service companies and regulating bodies came together to discuss how, as a workforce, we all are performing in the UKCS with regards to Asset Integrity. One area of improvement was clear and that was technology. What technological advances are available out there to help us protect our assets and extend the life of installations, and are we currently utilising them?

Problems with Deluge Systems Firewater deluge systems are the primary source of offshore active fire protection on board installations. Being an SECE (Safety and Environmental Critical Element), they should be fit for purpose and function on-demand, to their as-built design criteria, in every instance when called upon.

However, blockages within deluge systems are a common occurrence worldwide due to such issues as corrosion, marine growth, salt crystallisation and other bi-products that are a resultant factor of using seawater. These issues directly impact the functionality of a firewater deluge system and therefore greatly increase the risks associated with asset integrity and to persons on board an offshore installation. There are two main reasons why deluge systems are still experiencing consistent issues on a global scale. The first is the lack of technological advancements. Many have looked to solve this problem by changing the material of the pipework within their deluge system to such materials as elastomers, cupronickel (CuNi) and even Titanium. Offshore Technology Report (OTO 2000 035) titled, “A Review of Degradation of Firewater Piping & Nozzle Performance due to Blockage”, issued by the Health & Safety Executive, concluded that blockages still occur within the pipework regardless of the material used.

Reduce the likelihood of blockages Deluge systems are THE PRIMARY source of Offshore active Fire Protection for: Personnel/Evacuation Routes General Area Protection Structural Integrity Protection Critical Equipment Protection

Scan the QR code to watch a video of this in action...

Finding Solutions This forced many back to the drawing board still reeling for a solution, while others were left with new, rather expensive pipework and were no further forward with a solution. There have also been minimal technological advancements with regards to the nozzles used in firewater deluge systems. If you put an initial nozzle from the Forties Alpha next to a nozzle purchased today, there are minimal evident adaptions. The nozzles currently used in the industry block with as little as 6g of debris. They block even more quickly when the existing nozzle screen is in place with even less debris.

For more information please call +44 (0)1224 295191 or email tfis.delugesystems.uk@tycoint.com Manufactured and supplied by Tyco under license from RigDeluge Global Limited

www.tycofis.co.uk

WWW.OFFSHORETECHNOLOGYREPORTS.COM 3 16354 RigDeluge Rolling Massage Adverts AW.indd 1 |15/01/2016 16:29


NEXT GENERATION OFFSHORE OIL AND GAS LIFE AND ASSET PROTECTION SOLUTIONS

What technological

IMPACT OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS

advances are available out there to help us protect our assets and extend the life of installations, and are we currently utilising them?

CONCENTRIC CORROSION

GRADUAL BUILD UP OF FOREIGN BODIES

MARINE LIFE

So Tyco, in partnership with RigDeluge®, is taking a proven Life and Asset Protection Solution into the offshore Oil & Gas industry called Concentric Flow Technology™. It is a safety innovation to improve the performance of seawater Fire Deluge Systems using current industry nozzles. Tests have demonstrated that Tyco’s new adaptor will significantly improve system resilience against nozzle blockages, and when combined with our Innovative ITM Deluge resilience service programme will give complete 4 | WWW.OFFSHORETECHNOLOGYREPORTS.COM

confidence that you can achieve water discharge from every nozzle, every time in the event of system operation.

Testing the System The second issue is behavioural maintenance regimes associated with the management of deluge systems. The majority of Operators in the UKCS at present are carrying out wet testing to prove the compliance of their deluge systems. This involves spraying tons of seawater on to the


NEXT GENERATION OFFSHORE OIL AND GAS LIFE AND ASSET PROTECTION SOLUTIONS

asset in order to verify that the deluge system can meet its Performance Standards. If the deluge system fails to meet its Performance Standards, due to such issues such as blockages discussed previously, they reduce the period between wet testing. However it is important to consider that the deluge system is likely to not meet its Performance Standards due to bi-products of seawater such as corrosion or marine growth migrating into the system as a result of previous wet tests. Reducing the period between wet tests due to failure will not only deteriorate the integrity of the asset rapidly – it will also severely damage the existing deluge system, adding an element of luck to its ability to fully function on demand. There may be a second or third opportunity to pass a deluge test, but there is only one chance to suppress a fire. A step change in attitudes and behaviours is required to open new ideas related to safety. The phrase “but we’ve always done it that way” has no place in the Next Generation of Offshore Oil & Gas culture. Being the global leader in Fire solutions, Tyco firmly believes in dry deluge testing. It has created a 5 year inspection, testing and maintenance plan to be certain that an Operator can meet their Performance Standards through a combination of dry testing designed specifically to ensure compliance, whilst increasing asset integrity, onboard safety and at the same time – save costs. There is a new generation emerging in the North Sea. New major field developments such as Mariner, Golden Eagle and Culzean will still require new Life and Asset Protection Solutions in decades to come, just as the Forties platforms continue to do now. The key element to our maintaining the integrity and safety of these assets is to constantly utilise advancements in technology and continue to apply a step change attitude to the industry.

The phrase “but we’ve

Global Strength. Local Expertise.

always done it that way” has no place in the Next Generation of Offshore Oil & Gas culture

Safety game changer... ...a step change solution to nozzle blockages, firefighting systems & protecting remote site locations systems y

Scan the QR code to watch a video of this in action...

For more information please call +44 (0)1224 295191 or email tfis.delugesystems.uk@tycoint.com Manufactured and supplied by Tyco under license from RigDeluge Global Limited

www.tycofis.co.uk

WWW.OFFSHORETECHNOLOGYREPORTS.COM 5 16354 RigDeluge Rolling Massage Adverts AW.indd 2 |15/01/2016 16:29


NEXT GENERATION OFFSHORE OIL AND GAS LIFE AND ASSET PROTECTION SOLUTIONS

Safeguarding Offshore Platforms in an Uncertain World Tom Cropper, Editor Aging infrastructure, more demanding exploration, an uncertain security climate – these are just some of the threats facing modern offshore oil and gas.

Fire, explosion, carbon monoxide poisoning, personal injury and much more, all present a real and growing danger to personnel on board an oil rig. But the threats don’t stop there

W

ORKING IN an offshore environment can be an immensely rewarding occupation but it’s also highly risky. The BP Gulf of Mexico Disaster and the Piper Alpha explosion both vividly demonstrated the risks presented by fire, but that is just one of the dangers oil and gas operators face in the offshore environment. What’s more, a number of factors are combining to make offshore exploration more dangerous and demanding than ever. While safety measures have improved significantly since the earliest days of offshore production, there is still work to be done.

A More Dangerous World According to Reuters, the average age of oil rigs is now 24 years1, which means an increasing proportion of global infrastructure is now being categorised as aging. Regulations and safety measures are doing much to improve the wellbeing and safety of rig crew, but in many cases infrastructure is struggling to keep up. Since much of the most vital equipment exists below the sea, in hard to reach areas, monitoring its condition represents a logistical and technological challenge. The rise of secondary and tertiary oil recovery techniques also places additional stresses and strains on equipment that it was not initially designed to withstand. New rigs are being built using new technologies and materials and conforming to stricter safety guidelines. Unfortunately, these are operating increasingly in more inhospitable environments. The search for oil is taking the industry into areas which were previously believed to be inaccessible. They are operating further from the shore, facing extreme weather conditions and dealing with highly volatile and explosive materials.

6 | WWW.OFFSHORETECHNOLOGYREPORTS.COM

Small wonder, then, that the scope of risks being faced by offshore oil rigs is growing rapidly. Fire, explosion, carbon monoxide poisoning, personal injury and much more, all present a real and growing danger to personnel on board an oil rig. But the threats don’t stop there. In the current geopolitical environment, the threat of international terrorism is a growing concern. Back in 2004, writing in the Washington Post, Justin Bloom warned that attacks on offshore oil rigs had the potential to “disrupt jittery energy markets, destabilise governments and scare off foreign workers2”. Since then, the international situation has, if anything deteriorated. The rise of ISIS and the continued threat of Al Qaeda, together with the threat of piracy, mean offshore platforms remain painfully vulnerable. These exposures were thrown painfully into light by the storming of Shell’s Benisede Platform in the Niger Delta in which several of the soldiers stationed on board the rig for protection were killed in an assault, while a number of workers were injured3. Comprehensive risk assessment processes and, in some cases, armed protection for rigs and vessels operating in high risk areas, are becoming a more common fact of life in the offshore environment. Rigs in high threat areas are making moves to increase their protection. For example, underwater alarm systems such as the one installed on board a rig in the Middle East detect divers and underwater vehicles which present a threat4.

Offshore Oil and the Environment As well as protecting the lives of personnel on board a rig, offshore oil and gas companies also need to consider the environment in


NEXT GENERATION OFFSHORE OIL AND GAS LIFE AND ASSET PROTECTION SOLUTIONS

Global Strength. Local Expertise.

The solution... Available Globally & Exclusive from Tyco which they are located. Meeting UN climate targets and reducing emissions is a major operational consideration for the offshore oil and gas industry. Governments around the world are doing more to protect their marine environments. For example, in January 2016 the UK government announced plans to expand its so-called marine blue belt meaning 8,000 square miles of UK waters are now under protection5. Oil companies have found themselves fined for breaching clean air regulations as governments introduce ‘polluter pays’ obligations into their regulations. Safety systems represent a key part of this issue. Suppressing fire or explosions is crucial to preventing the release of hydrocarbons into the marine environment, as well as ensuring the safety of personnel on board the rig. The problem is that development is lagging behind in many instances. Equipment remains under developed in some areas, and can still be vulnerable to malfunction. For example, fire dousing nozzles can be prone to clogging with salt water and other corrosive elements. Regular testing of systems makes sense to ensure operability but, because they normally use sea water, these tests themselves increase the risk of corrosion and clogging. Dry testing and other inspection methods may improve safety, but persuading operators to change their approach is a major challenge. As mentioned earlier in this Report, infrastructure is aging rapidly and as it does so, equipment is degrading. Unfortunately, there is little guarantee of safety even in newer build vessels and platforms. Speaking to offshore Technology.com, Sean Liddell of Tyco Fire & Integrated Solutions said that while new builds were designed to safety specifications, variations remained. “All are designed to operate safely but we do see a significant variation in the quality and materials used,” he explained. “In some cases

we see recycled and reconditioned equipment from old assets6.” In many cases, safety equipment itself represents an environmental risk. The search has been on for more environmentally friendly forms of fire-fighting foams. These can break down into toxic acids which have a harmful effect on the marine environment. While ecofriendly alternatives do exist, they have historically suffered from poor comparative performance. That may be changing with the introduction of a fresh generation of products, although many of these evolutions remain in the early stages of development.

Educating the Market A fresh challenge lies, also, in the attitude of the market. Although technology does exist to improve safety, some operators may be reluctant to make the leap. Some may be cautious about whether new systems can improve on what they have already, while others may be reluctant to spend the money in a world in which profits are hard to come by. As long as uncertainty remains in the market, the conflict between safety and economy will continue. History offers up plenty of examples where a desire to cut costs has led to disaster; the onus is on the industry to make sure lessons are learned. The challenge for manufacturers of new safety equipment is to convince operators of the dangers and to educate them about how new systems and products can enhance their safety. The industry risks falling into a ‘business as usual’ approach – a failure to learn from history and to understand what improved options are available. By working closely with specialist experts, researching the market and conducting extensive risk assessments, they can go some way towards improving the levels of safety and wellbeing on-board an oil rig.

Tyco’s new adaptor will significantly improve system resilience against nozzle blockages, and when combined with our Innovative ITM Deluge resilience service programme will give complete confidence that you can achieve water discharge from every nozzle, every time in the event of system operation.

Scan the QR code to watch a video of this in action...

For more information please call +44 (0)1224 295191 or email tfis.delugesystems.uk@tycoint.com Manufactured and supplied by Tyco under license from RigDeluge Global Limited

www.tycofis.co.uk

WWW.OFFSHORETECHNOLOGYREPORTS.COM 7 16354 RigDeluge Rolling Massage Adverts AW.indd 3 |15/01/2016 16:29


NEXT GENERATION OFFSHORE OIL AND GAS LIFE AND ASSET PROTECTION SOLUTIONS

Fighting Fire in the Offshore Oil and Gas Industry Jo Roth, Staff Writer How the offshore oil and gas industry is developing new technologies to fight its deadliest enemy – fire.

A tight constrained environment, containing highly explosive elements in which evacuation is extremely

A

FIRE on board an oil rig is a nightmare scenario for any offshore oil worker. A tight constrained environment, containing highly explosive elements in which evacuation is extremely challenging means any fire needs to be controlled as soon as possible. As the industry moves out into more hostile and challenging areas, effective fire prevention technology has never been more important.

challenging means

A Dangerous Business

any fire needs to be

Piper and Alpha – two words which still haunt the offshore oil industry. Around thirty years after a series of explosions killed 167 people in the North Sea, the disaster still influences operators and safety legislators. The event illustrated the extreme dangers fire on board a rig could present. Fire burned at more than 700°C as successive explosions destroyed the platform. With nowhere to run workers were reduced to leaping from the helicopter platform into the sea. The accident changed the industry forever prompting a greater priority for health and safety, new guidelines and new safety systems. However, as the 2010 explosion on board BPs Deepwater Horizon Oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico demonstrated, the industry still has work to do. It faces challenges on many levels. Extracting oil is becoming more challenging and dangerous. Exploration is taking place in deeper water and more remote areas. Crew are subjected to an increasingly hazardous range of environments while enhanced oil recovery techniques are placing a growing strain on infrastructure. That equipment is also aging. In some areas, such as the Gulf of Mexico, more than half of all rigs have continued service much longer than their designers ever intended. Around a third date back into the seventies. The risk of fire, therefore, is growing, just as awareness of the issues is evolving.

controlled as soon as possible

8 | WWW.OFFSHORETECHNOLOGYREPORTS.COM

This creates a promising market for manufacturers of advanced fire-fighting systems. Transparency Market Reports7 expects the global enhanced fire protection systems market to grow at CAGR 3.7% between 2014 and 2020. Their report states that the size of the market, which was US$3,218.7 million in 2013, is anticipated to reach US$4,142.4 million by 2020. Growth, says the report, is being driven by a growing safety culture among companies, together with tougher regulations and a desire for more environmentally sustainable products.

Environmentally Sustainable Prospects of growth together with the evolving needs of oil and gas companies is spurring innovation. But as well as considering the safety requirements of an oil rig, the industry needs to look at their impact on the environment. Conventional fire-fighting systems rely on a deluge system consisting of foam and sea water, together with a number of passive fire prevention strategies. The problem is: conventional fire-fighting foam can be highly toxic to the environment. Traditional fire-fighting foam technologies containing fluorosurfactants break down into PFOS and PFOA acids which, in turn, can be extremely toxic to the environment. A new generation of fluorine-free foams is much kinder to the environment, but until now it has been difficult to find technologies which meet the exacting requirements of the offshore oil and gas industry. This includes systems which are resistant to burn-back – the exposure to direct flame – can be stored for many years without degrading and can be transported easily. The biggest issue with fluorine-free foams is they do not have the film forming properties crucial for subduing oil based fires.


NEXT GENERATION OFFSHORE OIL AND GAS LIFE AND ASSET PROTECTION SOLUTIONS

Global Strength. Local Expertise.

Currently nozzle blockages occur on activation of a deluge system

The answer lies in products manufactured using a process called telemorisation. This produces products such a six atom chain rather than eight. These fluorotelemors do not breakdown and produce PFOS or PFOA, and are proving to be effective enough to comply with environmental stewardship programmes, while also being effective at fighting fires.

Surviving Offshore Environments Further challenges, both for infrastructure and fire-fighting products exist in natural gas offshore drilling. Traditional materials such as steel suffer from corrosion. Equipment can degrade quickly reducing the efficacy of technology, increasing maintenance requirements and, worst of all, increasing the risk of failure. The search is on for materials which can demonstrate superior durability and resistance to corrosion. One area is in the use of synthetic rubber. Materials are available which have been shown to be non-corrosive and to withstand a heat flux of 390kW/m2 and temperatures higher than 1,400°C. They can withstand jet fires and flame speeds which exceed the speed of sound. Their use has been held back as regulation moves to keep up. It was only recently, for example, that rubber products received United States Coast Guard approval, so only now are some of these advanced polymers

receiving the official certification they need to make buyers comfortable with these innovations. Also, manufacturers are pioneering methods for descaling and reducing the risk of corrosion. Innovative descaling products, containing chemicals which are soluble in water and non-threatening to the environment play an important role in ensuring equipment remains in a serviceable condition at all times. Advances in dry testing also reduce the build-up of scale. Testing salt water systems inevitably increases salt corrosion and scale build-up and so reduces the life expectancy of fire-fighting equipment. Passive fire protection systems are also crucial in containing the spread of fire. Fire and blast protection doors, for example, can be constructed from fibre-reinforced concrete sheets mechanically bonded to punched steel sheets. These produce materials which are extremely lightweight, but strong enough to withstand fire, heavy impact and explosions. In addition, they are corrosion resistant and capable of prolonged operation within the offshore environment. The market is evolving rapidly, and in this article we’ve only scratched the surface of what’s out there. Oil and gas drilling companies are increasingly waking up to the need to install multiple robust fire protection systems throughout an oil rig. They are looking forward at what risks may come further down the road and attempting to future-proof systems against the dangers involved with future oil production.

What’s happening now? Blockages within the nozzles of Deluge Fire Protection Systems of ALL pipework materials are common issues, as the discharge nozzles often become blocked by bi-products of the environment. This has a potentially disastrous effect should a fire occur in any marine environment where the Deluge system will fail due to an in-adequate discharge of water.

Scan the QR code to watch a video of this in action...

For more information please call +44 (0)1224 295191 or email tfis.delugesystems.uk@tycoint.com Manufactured and supplied by Tyco under license from RigDeluge Global Limited

www.tycofis.co.uk

WWW.OFFSHORETECHNOLOGYREPORTS.COM 9 16354 RigDeluge Rolling Massage Adverts AW.indd 4 |15/01/2016 16:29


NEXT GENERATION OFFSHORE OIL AND GAS LIFE AND ASSET PROTECTION SOLUTIONS

Improved Fire and Gas Detection James Butler, Staff Writer Why the offshore oil and gas industry urgently needs to focus on improving the performance of fire and gas alarms.

The detection system experienced a ‘boy who cried Wolf’ moment. Nobody had faith in its accuracy and so, rather than endure numerous false alarms, operators simply decided to do without the system altogether

T

HE ENQUIRIES into the Deepwater Horizon explosion have revealed many unsettling truths, but one of the most staggering came when it was discovered that alarms didn’t sound because they had been switched off. As well as raising further questions about processes on board the rig, this casts light on a wider issue for the offshore oil and gas industry – the urgent need to improve the way in which fire risks are detected on board an oil rig. Fire and Gas Detection (FGD) is an essential element for any offshore installation. When functioning correctly, an alarm should detect problems at an early stage and trigger responses such as alerting emergency services, containing the fire and triggering fire supressing technologies. The problem is, as BP’s story indicates, that does not always happen.

Lessons to Learn The Deepwater Horizon issue arose very simply because staff did not fully trust the detection systems already installed. Giving evidence to a Federal hearing, Mike Williams, a Chief Technician with Transocean, said the computers had been instructed not to raise an alarm to avoid interrupting workers’ sleeping patterns with false alarms8. As a result, key alarms failed to go off on the day. In other words, the detection system experienced a ‘boy who cried Wolf’ moment. Nobody had faith in its accuracy and so, rather than endure numerous false alarms, operators simply decided to do without the system altogether. The results, of course, were there for all too see. These problems, though, are not confined to BP and Deepwater Horizon. Across the industry there is an increasingly urgent need to upgrade fire detection systems. Infrastructure is aging; rigs have survived far longer than their designers originally intended. Fire protection 10 | WWW.OFFSHORETECHNOLOGYREPORTS.COM

systems, which might have been state-of-the-art at the time of installation, are lagging behind the needs of the modern oil and gas industry and may be experiencing problems of wear and tear themselves. False alarms can be triggered by all sorts of issues – for example, the shining of light on waves can be mistaken for fire by some alarms. Gas detectors may see their sensitivity reducing over time, heightening the risk both of false alarms and also missing threats when they arise.

New Systems Most of all, they lag behind where the current technology currently stands. A new generation of FGD systems is coming to market, which offer the upgrades the industry needs. A good example is the new 3oTech three-way sensors on offer by Tyco Fire and Integrated Solutions. These use three different detection systems encased within the same unit: fire, carbon monoxide and smoke. This reduces the risk of false alarms – the promotional video highlights risks such as mistaking steam for smoke to trigger an alarm. The system continually manages conditions in all sensors. So, if heat and carbon monoxide were to drop into manageable zones it would believe the third trigger came from a nonthreatening source, which means no alarm would be triggered. Systems such as these promise a number of benefits over and above existing systems including: •R  educed false alarms: Lower down time costs and less interruption. •L  ower cost: Because three sensors are contained within a single unit, overall installation and maintenance costs are reduced. •S  uperior reliability: Because an alarm presents a more reliable indication of a serious threat, workers respond more effectively.


NEXT GENERATION OFFSHORE OIL AND GAS LIFE AND ASSET PROTECTION SOLUTIONS

Global Strength. Local Expertise.

Install this step change technology and potentially eliminate nozzle blockages completely

The system is available for all kinds of industries, but has clear potential for the offshore environment. It, and others like it, offer greater sensitivity allowing operators to detect an issue before it becomes serious. Given how fast and ferociously fire can spread on board an oil rig, crucial time savings could play an important role in maintaining the safety of operators on board the rig. Multiple sensor points allow for a wider range of parameters to be measured – not only does this prevents false alarms, but it also delivers a prompter and more reliable safety system. These systems are harvesting an everincreasing amount of data. Constant monitoring of the environment means huge amounts of information are being assessed and monitored every second. This can all be transmitted quickly to a central monitoring system, or even an onshore base, to provide instant real time alarms. This allows operators to have more information at their fingertips more quickly saving crucial seconds and allowing them to make better decisions. The ability to monitor a greater range of information also enables them to deliver superior learnings and operational improvements.

Getting it Right The aims of new systems are simple: •T  o provide faster reaction; even a fraction of a second’s delay could prove fatal. •T  o be more reliable in terms of working when they should. • Reduce false alarms. •P  rovide better quality data allowing operators to make more informed decisions

about how to react to a threat. • To be modified easily. •T  o allow better rehearsals, fire drills and crew training. This last point is perhaps the most critical. Just as past systems have become outdated over the passage of time, so too will the latest cutting edge instruments being developed today. These must allow for as much future proofing as possible, allowing them to be updated or modified to cope with new technological capabilities, regulatory requirements or evolving threats in the offshore environment. This represents a critical stumbling block to adoption. Existing rigs have their own complex networks of sensors, which have been working for years. Convincing operators of the need to upgrade is one thing, but it’s also a major challenge to evolve a new system without interrupting another one. Installing reliable new technologies working in conjunction with existing systems is the best way to ensure optimal performance. When designing systems, operators have to account for ease of installation and update as well as basic function. Every second counts when it comes to safeguarding the lives of offshore personnel and that starts with the first line of defence – the fire alarm systems. The earlier systems can detect a threat and the more effectively it can relay information to control crews, the more valuable they will be. The benefits of a viable system extend well beyond simple safety, they can also help a rig to be more reliable and profitable – crucial in its ongoing performance.

When this product is introduced to any fire protection system and coupled with Tyco’s Wet/Dry resilience maintenance programme, operators can ensure that Deluge systems will: // Operate in full compliance // Increase operational efficiency 24/7/365 // Reduce costly damage repairs caused by Deluge System failure // Increase safety

Scan the QR code to watch a video of this in action...

For more information please call +44 (0)1224 295191 or email tfis.delugesystems.uk@tycoint.com Manufactured and supplied by Tyco under license from RigDeluge Global Limited

www.tycofis.co.uk

WWW.OFFSHORETECHNOLOGYREPORTS.COM 11 16354 RigDeluge Rolling Massage Adverts AW.indd 5| 15/01/2016 16:29


NEXT GENERATION OFFSHORE OIL AND GAS LIFE AND ASSET PROTECTION SOLUTIONS

How the Future Will Influence Crew Protection Tom Cropper, Editor The rise of digital technology, more sophisticated products and a more demanding environment will all spur radical change over the next few years.

The use of advanced alloys and rubbers to withstand extreme heat and corrosion has the potential to significantly improve the value of fire protection systems to the offshore industry

T

HE FUTURE is already here in many areas of the offshore oil and gas sector – highly advanced and sophisticated technology which far outstrips much of that which most producers can offer. The trouble is, variation remains between the early adopters and those who are stuck in the past. Furthermore, technology being developed today must envisage what the future will look like. So how will the offshore industry look in the future? In today’s uncertain market, it’s difficult to make predictions, but there are several innovations taking place which will play an important part in how that future unravels.

Fire Fighting Systems Will Become More Sophisticated The essential elements of fire protection remain the same today as they have for many years – a deluge system consisting of a mixture of foam and sea water. However, to truly combat the many and varied types of fire, these systems need to evolve. Advanced systems utilise a range of innovative technologies to improve fire suppressing qualities. Systems such as the SafeDeck range from Bayards use highly efficient drainage combined with a water deluge system to quickly remove spilled aviation fuel and extinguish the fire. Tests show such systems dealing with potential helideck fires within seconds. Active fire suppressing technologies are also being combined with passive fire protection. Measures such as drainage gullies, holes and barriers work to contain fires and prevent spread. In turn, these are being constructed of highly durable materials designed to weather conditions on board an offshore platform. The use of advanced alloys and rubbers to withstand extreme heat and corrosion has the potential to significantly improve the value of fire protection systems to the offshore industry. 12 | WWW.OFFSHORETECHNOLOGYREPORTS.COM

The Rise of Digital Technology In today’s market, much talk focuses on the digital oil field of tomorrow – a world in which operations are interconnected and vast amounts of data can be viewed by a single operator in real time. Extensive networks of sensors are being installed around the oil rig delivering information on factors such as flow rates, flow composition, the condition of infrastructure and equipment and monitoring for the presence of gas. These can trigger an alert about any potential problem long before it becomes mission critical. For example, more sophisticated pipe wall measurement can spot corrosion in the early stages, allowing operators to deal with the issue more promptly and with minimal downtime. Because these sensors are becoming more sophisticated, the amount of data they gather is constantly growing. This can all be transmitted wirelessly back to a central system and analysed in real time. This requires the development of new software and analytics systems to manage the flow of data coming into an oil rig. All this data can provide operators with an enhanced view of what is happening across every point of the oil rig. It can generate reports and automatically trigger alerts every time it senses a threat.

Attitudes Will Have to Change The history of oil and gas production is pot marked by major catastrophes: Piper Alpha, the Exxon Valdez and Macondo to name a few. Each one represents a turning point; lessons are learned, attitudes change and new practices come into force. In the aftermath of BP’s Texas Oil Refinery blast of 2005, for example, the then Chief Executive, Tony Hayward, instituted the Operating Management System in 2008 which defines requirements for operations and delivers systematic ways to improve them. It was based very closely on similar measures taken by Exxon in the wake of the Valdez oil spill. It shows that disasters can lead to seismic changes in the


NEXT GENERATION OFFSHORE OIL AND GAS LIFE AND ASSET PROTECTION SOLUTIONS

Global Strength. Local Expertise.

Seeing is believing... way the industry approaches production. The fact that it failed to prevent the Deepwater Horizon oil spill two years later proves that systematic change is always an ongoing battle and one which the industry is not always equipped to win. Indeed, going forward into an uncertain future in which profits are hard to come by, there’s no guarantee that the oil industry will improve its standards. Bob Bea, who advised BP on safety, highlighted that, in general, “organisations struggle to balance production with protection.” As production rises, protections can decrease, especially if the industry gives in to the temptation of cutting corners to reduce costs9. Much, then, depends on the attitude the industry takes. The most important factor may not be innovative products and services, but the way in which working practices are reviewed. The technology exists, but operators need to understand what it can do and how to use it. Innovations also need to prove their worth. Manufacturers are bringing a host of products to market, but a barrier to adoption lies in developing clear tests which prove they can work in the real world. A key development lies in the evolution of effective testing and training mechanisms.

Replicating the environment of an oil rig is quite a challenge. It is difficult to produce realistic and effective testing procedures to adequately demonstrate how a product will function in the real world. For training, measures are being put in place to create more realistic testing scenarios to better prepare crew for dealing with a fire in real life. Ultra-real life simulators such as the ones being delivered to Maersk’s new training system in Rio De Janeiro10 in Brazil more accurately replicate the situations crew might realistically expect to face in the real world. Simulation software, such as that developed by ComputIT make use of the latest software to accurate mimic the different types of fire a worker might have to face11. This new generation of technologies promises to ensure offshore operators are better prepared and equipped to deal with emergencies than they ever have been. However, installing these technologies effectively will be a major challenge in itself. The market has already experienced the problems caused by out of date infrastructure which continues in service. When looking at the next generation of technologies, they have to bear these lessons in mind and consider how they will be followed now and for the next few decades.

Scan the QR code to watch a video of our blockage solution in action...

For more information please call +44 (0)1224 295191 or email tfis.delugesystems.uk@tycoint.com Manufactured and supplied by Tyco under license from RigDeluge Global Limited

www.tycofis.co.uk

WWW.OFFSHORETECHNOLOGYREPORTS.COM 13 16354 RigDeluge Rolling Massage Adverts AW.indd 6| 15/01/2016 16:29


NEXT GENERATION OFFSHORE OIL AND GAS LIFE AND ASSET PROTECTION SOLUTIONS

References: 1

Factbox: Average Offshore Rig Now 24 Years Old: http://www.reuters.com/article/oildrillers-idUSN3117886320110331

2

Terrorists Have Oil Industry in Crosshairs: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A52810-2004Sep26.html

3

Shell Evacuates Oil Platforms After Fresh Attacks: http://www.irinnews.org/report/57816/nigeria-shell-evacuates-oil-platforms-after-fresh-attacks

4

Sonardine Installs Intruder Detection http://www.offshoreenergytoday.com/sonardyne-installs-intruder-detection-system-on-offshore-rig/

5

Blue Belt Extended to Protect 8,000 Square Miles:

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/blue-belt-extended-to-protect-8000-square-miles-of-uk-waters Offshore Fire Safety: New Hazards and Challenges:

6

http://www.offshore-technology.com/features/featureoffshore-fire-safety-new-hazards-and-challenges-in-an-ageing-infrastructure-4188369/ 7

Global Enhanced Fire Protection Market: http://www.transparencymarketresearch.com/pressrelease/enhanced-fire-protection-market.htm

8

Deepwater Horizon Oil rig alarms: http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2010/jul/23/deepwater-horizon-oil-rig-alarms

9

10

Disasters can Lead to Vast Workplace Transformation: http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/ce95707c-bb53-11e4-b95c-00144feab7de.html#axzz40oqUCKzJ Norwegian Offshore Vessel Simulator to Operate in Brazil:

http://www.oilandgastechnology.net/news/norwegian-offshore-vessel-simulator-operate-brazil?qt-hse_tabbed=1 11

KFX Next Generation Fire Simulation Technology: http://www.offshore-technology.com/contractors/fire_protection/computit/presskfx.html

14 | WWW.OFFSHORETECHNOLOGYREPORTS.COM


Global Strength. Local Expertise.

Reduce the likelihood of blockages Finally a solution to the worldwide issue affecting offshore firefighting systems

Available Globally & Exclusive from Tyco Tyco’s new adaptor will significantly improve system resilience against nozzle blockages. Combine with our Innovative ITM Deluge resilience service programme for complete confidence that in the event of system operation your systems can achieve water discharge from every nozzle, every time. What will happen... Blockages within the nozzles of Deluge Fire Protection Systems of all pipework materials are common issues. The discharge nozzles often become blocked by saltwater bi-products such as corrosion, limescale, marine growth, marine life, salt crystallisation, MIC and debris. This has a potentially disastrous effect should a fire occur in any marine environment where the Deluge system will fail due to an in-adequate discharge of water.

This new technology and ITM service program brings a cost effective solution for a significant increase in resilience and safety against the spread of fire for any installation that uses seawater in firefighting systems. When this technology is introduced to any fire protection system and coupled with Tyco’s Wet/ Dry resilience maintenance programme, operators can be ensured that Deluge systems will: // Increase operational efficiency 24/7/365 // Operate in full compliance // Reduce costly damage repairs caused by Deluge System failure // Increase safety

For more information please call +44 1224 295191 or email tfis.delugesystems.uk@tycoint.com Manufactured and supplied by Tyco under license from RigDeluge Global Limited

www.tycofis.co.uk

Scan the QR code to watch a video of this in action...


NEXT GENERATION OFFSHORE OIL AND GAS LIFE AND ASSET PROTECTION SOLUTIONS

Notes:

16 | WWW.OFFSHORETECHNOLOGYREPORTS.COM


Offshore Technology Reports… the leading specialist combined online research and networking resource for senior upstream oil and gas industry professionals.

• Up to the minute Industry and Technology information available to all site users on a free of charge open access basis. • Qualified signed up members are able to access premium content Special Reports and interact with their peers using a variety of advanced online networking tools. • Designed to help users identify new technical solutions, understand the implications of different technical choices and select the best solutions available. • Thought Leadership – Advice and guidance from internationally recognised upstream oil and gas key opinion leaders. • Peer Input – Contributions from senior upstream oil and gas industry professionals. • Independent Editorial Content – Expert and authoritative analysis from award winning journalists and leading industry commentators. •

Supplier Provided Content.

Designed to facilitate debate.

Written to the highest professional standards

Visit http://www.offshoretechnologyreports.com/


Profile for Global Business Media

Offshore Technology Reports – Next Generation Offshore Oil & Gas Life & Asset Protection Solutions  

Defence Industry – Special Report on Next Generation Offshore Oil and Gas Life and Asset Protection Solutions

Offshore Technology Reports – Next Generation Offshore Oil & Gas Life & Asset Protection Solutions  

Defence Industry – Special Report on Next Generation Offshore Oil and Gas Life and Asset Protection Solutions