Fire Protection for Hydraulic Pumping Installations
- B.J. Alford (Shell Oil Co.)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- September 1968
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 945 - 950
- 1968. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 6.5.5 Oil and Chemical Spills, 4.1.9 Tanks and storage systems, 4.2.1 Piping Design and Simulation, 4.1.5 Processing Equipment, 3.1.3 Hydraulic and Jet Pumps, 4.1.2 Separation and Treating, 1.10.1 Drill string components and drilling tools (tubulars, jars, subs, stabilisers, reamers, etc)
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A comprehensive study was conducted to determine the possible causes of fires in hydraulic pumping installations possible causes of fires in hydraulic pumping installations and to devise a system that would reduce fire hazards to an economic minimum. The study confirmed that the operating temperature of gas engines is sufficient to ignite a power oil leak spraying on the engine.
The system devised for reducing fires uses a shroud for deflecting leaking oil away from the gas engine, detectors to shut down the system in the event of a leak and piping designed to decrease the possibility of leaks. The system has been applied in the Rocky Mountain area at a cost of approximately $700 per power oil pump. The report gives the reasons for selecting this system and evaluates some of the steps taken.
On June 15, 1966, at the Shell Oil Co. Rocky Mountain Div.'s Cabin Creek, Section 8, Hydraulic Pumping Installation, a fire resulted in equipment damages of $86,000 plus the value of deferred production. Two other fires had occurred at similar installations. As a result, a comprehensive study was made to determine the possible causes, and to develop a system to minimize these fire hazards.
Before the project was begun, danger of fires connected with hydraulic pumping had been recognized, and preventive measures had been taken. The general approach was preventive measures had been taken. The general approach was as follows:
1. To minimize the probability of oil leaks by selecting proper equipment, design, and installation, and by using proper equipment, design, and installation, and by using scheduled preventive maintenance and inspection of equipment.
2. To minimize the ignition sources by equipping all gas engine powered pumps with low-tension shielded magneto systems, water-cooled exhaust manifolds and spark arrestors.
3. To disperse and space facilities at all new installations in order to reduce possible ignition sources for any given leak, and to reduce the potential damage from any fire that should occur.
4. To limit use of instrumentation such as high-low hydraulic pressure automatic shut-down and engine protective shut-down devices for low oil pressure or high coolant protective shut-down devices for low oil pressure or high coolant temperature.
5. To install remote safety shut-down switches and valves to be operated in case of fire.
These basic principles are still used and are an integral part of the fire protection system. In addition to these part of the fire protection system. In addition to these principles, certain specific practices are employed. principles, certain specific practices are employed. Housekeeping
Oil spillage and leaks should not be allowed to accumulate. The triplex pump foundation should be approximately 12 in. above grade and the surrounding area should be filled with 6 in. of scoria or gravel. When ruts or dirt movement restrict good drainage, the ground around the pumps should be graded. pumps should be graded. Preventive Maintenance and Inspection Preventive Maintenance and Inspection Through a program of preventive maintenance, the hydraulic installations will be kept in better condition and fewer failures will result. The following recommendations should be followed: .
1. The flexible high pressure hoses to the high discharge pressure safety switch should be replaced at least every 2 years.
2. All safety shut-down switches should be checked monthly for proper operation.
3. A qualified pump mechanic should inspect yearly the pump and discharge connection sweep and should pressure pump and discharge connection sweep and should pressure test the sweep and pump at rated pressure.
4. The power oil manifolds should be inspected yearly by an authorized factory representative as well as by the foreman.
5. Each pumping installation should be inspected twice a year by the division safety representative and the production foreman. At this time, gas engines should be production foreman. At this time, gas engines should be inspected carefully to determine if the safety specifications are fully met. Also, the safety switches and relief valves should be checked and any unusual vibrations corrected.
All equipment should be spread out as much as practical and low spots should be avoided. The layout should consider the terrain, prevailing winds and good drainage.
Power oil pumps should be placed about 300 ft from treaters and manifolds.
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