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Oil & Gas

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  • Products for hazardous areas
  • Solutions for highly-constraining environments
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ISSUES

Explosive Atmosphere

An explosive atmosphere can occur when flammable gases, mist, vapors or dust are mixed with air. When it is under atmospheric conditions there is a risk of explosion.  An explosive environment includes anywhere that liquid fuels, flammable gases and explosives are stored or used.

Most explosions are initiated by a spark. Electrical equipment in gaseous environments can create a spark. As well as, wherever electric currents meet air, like a broken circuit.

But, electrical equipment is not the only thing that can cause an explosion. Built up static electricity can create a spark when it is discharged and  metallic surfaces hitting each other.

There are several regulations covering potentially explosive atmospheres. The European standard is ATEX.

 

Gas Retention in case of hazardous leak

A gas leak is a leak of natural gas or other gaseous product from a pipeline or other containment into an area where it should not be present. It can be a very dangerous situation. because of the high risk of explosion if a flammable gas is exposed to a flame or spark.

 

Airtightness

To properly isolate some ventilation network parts from others or from the outside, closed dampers must have a low leakage rate.

 

Compartmentalization in case of fire

In case of a duct network going through a wall, a fire damper must be installed in order to preserve the fire rating of this wall.

 

Corrosion Issues in Oil & Gas Environment

In the Oil and Gas market, resistance to corrosion is essential.

There are several different types of causes for corrosion, but the three major concerns for offshore or coastal equipment is aqueous corrosion, atmospheric corrosion and galvanic corrosion.

Aqueous corrosion occurs when metals come in contact with sea water.

Atmospheric corrosion occurs when metals that are on or near coast lines are exposed to hot or humid conditions combined with salt air.

Galvanic corrosion occurs when two different metals are in direct contact with one another. It is aggravated in a corrosive environment.

 

REGULATIONS

ATEX 2014/34/UE:

Since the 20th of April 2016, the directive ATEX 94/9/CE has been replaced with the directive ATEX 2014/34/UE.

For F2A equipment, this modification involves:

  • The certificate of conformity is replaced with a declaration of EU certification.
  • The products are supplied along with an instruction sheet mentioning this new ATEX directive.

The directive defines the marking of ATEX equipment, which deals with following criteria:

  • If the product is designed for surface industry or mines
  • The protection level of the product
  • If the product is for gas, dust, or both
  • Explosive areas
  • The group of gas the product can be installed in
  • The maximum surface temperature of the product

 

All potential explosive atmospheres must have an area classified as a zone. The zone system is used globally. An expert determines the area, and it is the owner’s responsibility to ensure that the classification of their site is performed before installation of products. There are 6 zones: − Zones 0 (for gas) and 20 (for dust): continuous presence of explosive atmosphere. − Zones 1 (for gas) and 21 (for dust): occasional occurrence of potentially explosive atmosphere. − Zones 2 (for gas) and 22 (for dust): potentially explosive atmospheres can occur by accident, not during normal operation.

More information: http://www.hse.gov.uk/fireandexplosion/atex.htm

 

IEC Ex: International conformity assessment scheme covering apparatus for Explosive Atmosphere in compliance with IEC standards

It is the equivalent of ATEX certification, but international (ATEX is European).

IEC Ex only covers electrical equipment, F2A supplies IECEx certificates for electrical components such as actuators or limit switches, not for the damper itself.

More information: http://www.iecex.com/

 

CUTR (Custom Union Technical Regulation): 

Is a set of documents on the machines and (or) equipment, confirming compliance with the safety requirements of technical regulations of the Customs Union CUTR "On the safety of machinery and equipment,” which is the standard in Russia.

CUTR replaced the GOST in February 2013.

  • The CUTR we have to deal with (sometimes for the damper itself, sometimes for components only):
    • CUTR-010: On safety of machinery and equipment
    • CUTR-012: On safety of the equipment for work in explosive environments
    • CUTR-020: Electromagnetic compatibility of technical means
    • CUTR-032: On safety of equipment and vessels under pressure

More information: http://www.gost-r.info/news-2013-03-07.php

 

ISO 15138:

This standard defines the length, pitch and diameters of flanges’ drillings, depending on the size of dampers. This is a widely used in the Oil & Gas industry. It enables a right connection between the various ducts and equipment composing the ventilation network.

More information: https://www.iso.org/standard/41321.html

 

Major oil companies General Specifications:

Major Oil companies have their own technical specifications for equipment design.

The scope of these specifications can notably be about:

  • Size of equipment
  • Actuation time
  • Metal thickness
  • Type of Actuators
  • Materials to use