Deepening the search for oil and gas

Paul Boughton

Rebecca Johnson presents a case study on signalling devices as essential components of the safety system on an FPSO in the Gulf of Mexico

With the ever-growing demand for oil and gas, energy companies are increasingly forced to extend their exploration activities to locations that demand a more complex level of technology and advanced engineering to maximise the full potential of the field in question. The construction of new facilities in harsher and more remote environments requires companies to place an even stronger emphasis on the identification and management of operational risks. 

Safety of paramount importance
In response to increasing need, one energy giant announced in 2013 that it would be proceeding with a project that would set in motion the construction and fabrication of the host floating, production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel and subsea infrastructure, allowing it to extract oil and gas from the Gulf of Mexico at depths of 2,900m. Production under these circumstances is highly dangerous, so safety throughout the extraction and handling process is of paramount importance.

R. Stahl contributed to the safety and optimisation of the project’s design by supplying some of the latest developments in hazardous area electrical equipment. Its product portfolio for hazardous areas contains Xenon and LED signal beacons with ‘Ex d’ ignition protection (flameproof enclosure), intrinsically safe LED status beacons and traffic lights, flashing beacons, horns and robust manual call points that are available in Break Glass and Push Button versions. 

In this project, the introduction of its signalling devices as part of the Emergency Shut Down (ESD) and Fire & Gas monitoring system (FGS) was carried out with the objective of safeguarding topside personnel along with physical assets. These systems detect and alert workers in the event that fire, smoke or flammable gas concentrations in the processing areas, engine room or accommodation blocks are detected. In such an event, the safety system becomes live, which in turn triggers sounders and beacons, and alerts personnel of a potential danger. These systems help reduce the risk to workers and assets, throughout the installation.

A high-profile contribution
This is a high profile and prestigious application for fire safety products and R. Stahl, with its innovative range of sounders, strobes and manual call points, sits right at the heart of the solution. With phase one underway and others to follow, the company has made and will continue to make a substantial contribution, both in Europe and through its operation in North America, as a hazardous area component and system supplier 
to the project.

For more information visit

Rebecca Johnson is with R. Stahl

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