Offshore fire risk requires a deep understanding and improved safety management on offshore vessels and installations, and ocean-going vessels.
The new Lloyd’s Register Energy Guidance Notes, launched at ONS 2014, assist designers, owners and operators of oil and gas equipment on how to assess fire loadings on an installation, and how to protect people and equipment against different fire scenarios.
“Protection against fires on board vessels and installations is critical to a safe operating environment,” says Joar Dalheim, Lloyd’s Register’s VP Technology, Consultancy Services. “Our Guidance Notes provide a significant reference document to guide oil and gas designers, owners and operators on different risk-based methodologies to establish what could be at risk, ranging from simple fire risk issues to highly technical and complex fire risk situations.”
A primary goal for the launch of the new Guidance Notes is to provide direction and criteria that help industry to increase the level of protection against fires on board vessels, mobile offshore drilling units (MODUs), mobile offshore units (MOUs) and offshore installations. It also covers land-based infrastructure.
The new Lloyd’s Register Guidance Notes are one of the first of its kind to provide the flexibility on either a prescriptive route to ensure codes and standards are met, or a risk-based approach depending on the client’s objectives. Once in place, it supports what decisions can be taken to reduce the consequences of a fire from potential leaks or ignition scenarios through specific measures for prevention, detection, protection and fire extinguishing. The document also discusses other types of fires including electrical cable insulation fires, diesel fires, and methanol fires.
“Fire and explosion continue to remain on the list of top safety hazards for any vessel and its crew,” highlights Dalheim. “Minimising risk is critical as the challenges around deeper and more remote offshore exploration expand.”
Offshore Units must comply with fire safety regulations set out by the national administration in the area where the unit is located and/or country in which the unit is registered. A large part of these new industry Guidance Notes are dedicated to fire protection principles, fire mitigation measures and fire response which is an important part of the Fire and Explosion Evaluation (FEE) report, and which would be required for classification purposes. The FEE is intended to be an assessment of the potential fire loadings and blast pressures, based on the specific hazards associated with the general layout of the unit, production and process activities and operational constraints.
In July, Lloyd’s Register Energy released a new rule set called Rules for Offshore Units, which require a FEE to be submitted for acceptance.
Press Release, August 26, 2014; Image: Lloyd’s Register