Joint industry Project (JIP) to investigate how best to reduce the potential explosion and fire risks from hydrocarbon leaks in gas turbines.

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Companies and universities across the world are collaborating in an initiative to improve awareness on how to optimize safety design of gas turbines used in facilities processing combustible fluids, helping operators achieve greater safety, integrity and risk management.

Today, we launched our first phase of our latest JIP aimed at resolving a long-term industry issue that could save the industry billions of dollars in costly downtime, possible injury claims and damage to the environment.  

“Ignition of hydrocarbon leaks in gas turbines is a critical issue for oil and gas operators,” says Ingar Fossan from our Consulting business. “Findings from this JIP will lead to safer design of new installations, reduction in risk of future incidents on existing infrastructure, leading to tangible cost reduction.” 

Onshore and offshore installations contain dedicated turbine and power generation facilities that produce energy to run the installation’s various processes. The turbine enclosures and generator rooms are high risk areas because of the combination of very high temperatures, moving parts, fuel and lubricants. 

Flammable gas included in the intake air of a gas turbine is a widely-known and potential source of ignition. However, the residual risk is still not adequately understood. More detailed understanding of the potential ignition mechanism is required to find the best possible way to design the ignition control parameters for gas turbine equipment. It is based on the main conclusion from the MISOF report (Modelling of Ignition Sources on Offshore oil and gas Facilities) that we issued on behalf of the Norwegian Oil and Gas Association.

Fossan says, “The JIP brings together technical and operational expertise on gas turbines to collaborate on data gathering and advanced modelling of potential accidental scenarios. Considering the complexity of the various operating scenarios and differences in how gas turbine machinery are designed and manufactured, the JIP starts with an initial assessment and agreement with JIP partners on the primary issues and areas of investigation.”

Follow on phases of the JIP will study these issues through advanced modelling and experimental work.

The JIP is expected to attract interest across the globe from gas turbine vendors, research institutes to gas turbine owners and infrastructure operators. It already has the support of partners including ConocoPhillips Skandinavia AS, Maersk Oil and Gas AS, and Statoil AS. Academic partners include Nanyang Technological University and University of Twente along with our Global Technology Centre in Singapore which is financing and supervising a PhD study tied to the project. General Electric O&G is supporting the project with data on design and operation of gas turbines.

The JIP will run in phases. The initial phase will be finalised in February 2016. The next phase will be launched in Q2 in 2016. 

You can find out more details of the JIP here.