Soo, C.S., Esso Production Malaysia Inc. (Malaysia)

ABSTRACT :

EXXON has implemented new specifications for the Fire Protection System on its offshore platforms. This paper will discuss the evaluation of these specifications and also describe how EPMI retrofitted its existing twenty facilities to meet these guidelines so as to achieve the most effective use of money spent.

Introduction

(Photograph of Platform with title of Paper)

A proper fire protection system is essential on oil and gas production platforms to achieve two main objectives in the event a fire should occur, or should conditions develop that may produce a fire. These objectives are :

  1. to minimize risk of injury to personnel and

  2. to minimize risk of damage to platform facilities.

With safety being EXXON's highest priority, an overall review of its Fire Protection System Specifications was initiated in 1985 to ensure a high level of safety for platform personnel and a low risk of damage to platform facilities. Improved standards for new platforms were issued as a result of this review, which formed the basis for Esso Protection Malaysia's (EPMI) upgrade of the Fire Protection Systems on its existing platforms.

EPMI FIRE PROTECTION PHILOSOPHY

EPMI's basic fire protection philosophy is to prevent a fire from occurring. Facilities are designed, built and periodically upgraded in accordance with improved industrial codes, and standards, as well as practices shared among worldwide EXXON affiliates. Special considerations, described within this paper, are given to provide optimum fire prevention measures in the design and operation of EPMI's platforms.

Should a fire occur, EPMI's prime objective would be to minimize hazards to personnel and damage to facilities by rapid detection and response. Comprehensive detection features are employed to provide immediate response should a fire occur. These include the use of fusible plug loops, ultra violet detectors, thermal heat and rate-of-rise detectors, smoke detectors, frangible bulb sprinklers, plus infrared detectors. Some of the detection devices such as optical scanners, UV detectors, and gas detectors continue to be investigated to determine their dependability, although gas detectors are standardly placed in enclosed areas and air inlet ducting.

(See Figures B, C and D for illustration)

Additionally, new devices and techniques are being evaluated, such as the installation of thermister wire heat detectors in turbine generator enclosures. However at this time, smoke detectors and fusible plug loops appear to be the most reliable detection devices, and are therefore key components in EPMI's overall protection scheme.

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