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Two new research reports on gas detectors and ignition source control

The PSA has recently prepared two new research reports on the reliability of optical gas detectors under "extreme conditions" and the control of non-electrical ignition sources.

Optical gas detectors under "extreme conditions"
The study of gas detectors was prepared by asking questions about the functionality of optical gas detectors during a number of serious incidents. There has been uncertainty concerning whether optical gas detectors work under "extreme conditions" such as snow, humidity, water, water vapour, steam etc.

The report systematises knowledge about optical detectors and alternative detector types and understanding of how the detectors behave under such conditions, and is based on relevant incidents, information from suppliers and experience from the industry.

Control of non-electrical ignition sources
Deficient ignition source control has been a contributory cause of a number of serious incidents in international petroleum activities. In 2015, ignition source control was emphasised in the petroleum regulations, in both the Facilities Regulations for offshore installations and the Technical and Operational Regulations for onshore facilities.

This report summarises a knowledge acquisition project that SINTEF conducted on behalf of the PSA on the topic of controlling non-electrical ignition sources. The report elucidates practices and experiences in the industry concerning this topic and suggests some possible areas of improvement. The work is based on document reviews and working meetings with selected operators of onshore and offshore facilities.

The report provides a basis for knowledge and experience sharing between operators and facilities. This may promote more cooperation and openness between the participants and help reduce uncertainties surrounding non-electrical ignition sources. In particular, the aim is to arrive at a common understanding of best practice in this area, as well as identify knowledge gaps and special challenges.