How can Oil and Gas Refineries Improve Safety?

How can Oil and Gas Refineries Improve Safety?

October 31, 2016

High Risk Environment: Oil Rigs And Gas Refineries

Oil and gas operations are by their very nature extremely hazardous. Among the many risks to the facilities and the personnel operating them are explosive fires, collapsing infrastructure, smoke inhalation and criminal threats. With such highly combustible substances, it is absolutely imperative that safety and security are prioritized. There is zero room for error when multi-billion-dollar operations are inadvertently or intentionally put at risk.

Besides for the obvious risks such as oil spills, contamination of groundwater or the ocean, is the real risk of leaking gases and toxic fumes. Workers at oil and gas installations are at risk of harmful chemical inhalation. Depending on the length of exposure, there are many potential hazards such as lung disease, skin disease, hearing loss and other occupational hazards. Dangerous compounds like H2S (Hydrogen Sulfide) are typically found in mineral rocks, natural gas deposits and in oil. Drilling fluids often contain irritants and they have harmful effects on the environment.

If the structural integrity of the refineries is compromised for any reason, the loss of life can be catastrophic. There are myriad reasons why calamity can strike, including human error, equipment error, sabotage, and acts of God. In any event, it is essential that safety be prioritized above all else. Fortunately, there are ways and means to follow safety protocols and head off problems at the proverbial pass by using unconventional methodology.

One such technique that is fast gaining traction in oil and gas refineries is the use of thermal cameras. Thermal imaging sees what the human eye cannot: leaks, fissures, faults, trespassers and temperature anomalies. The manner in which thermal imaging devices operate is remarkable. These cameras can translate energy into light – that’s the reason you can see a profusion of light in thermal images. The blues are the cooler temperatures and the reds are the higher temperatures. The above image is known as a thermogram.

Even with all the checkmarks on equipment safety in place there is still the risk of criminal acts. The theft of equipment, sabotage of machinery or the malfeasance of purchasing management with inferior components are high risk concerns. For these reasons, it is vital that additional security measures are in place to safeguard against these aspects. One of the ways that oil and gas companies are keeping a watchful eye on things is EyeCGas thermal camera. Optical gas imaging (OGI) utilizes the most cutting-edge thermal imaging technology on the market. It was exclusively created for the detection of gas leaks in the oil and gas industry. It is the only thermal camera device (able to detect 30 hydrocarbons and VOC gases) that is certified for extremely hazardous environments.