TOPIC OF THE WEEK “ Sources of Fire Hazards in Oil Terminal”
fire incidents in Tank Farms
Apapa is the home zone of the Oil and Gas Depots in Nigeria. With a total not less than 35 depots in Lagos, it is a hazard prone area and of course, has equally had its pockets of near miss fire incidences.
Therefore, the control of recognized hazards in order to achieve an acceptable level of risk is very pertinent.
We will not for now delve into the issue as it were but a simple list of the possible causes of fire incidents in the tank farms will suffice.
There are two major causes of lightning related fires. The first one is a direct strike and the second is the secondary
effects such as the bound charge, the electromagnetic pulse, the electrostatic pulse and the earth currents.
When a storage tank is in the direct strike zone, flammable vapors exposed to the heating effect or the stroke channel may be ignited
Welding:sparks from a flame of a cutting torch ignited flammable vapors resulting in a fire. Electric sparks and shocks also ignite flammable vapors or liquids resulting in fire or explosion
Overfilling: When a tank containing flammable liquid overfills, fire or explosion is usually unavoidable. Also when an operator fails to notice overpressure or under pressure of gauges.
Terrorist attacks or military operations: arson, theftetc
sunken-roof due to heavy rain storm, tank body distort etc; valve failure; heater malfunctions; heater malfunctions; nalyzer failure and thermostat failure.
Crack and rupture:
tank cracks; flange crack; body ruptures; age deterioration, corrosion and seismic motions
Metal devices or container connected with nonconductive threads
Leak and line rupture:
Leak not being detected
Rupture of an expansion joint on a transfer line
Open flames such as ground fires, cigarette smoking, and hot particles also ignite flammable vapors around storage
The damage to an oil storage tank in an earthquake is a complex phenomenon involving the characteristics of
seismic motions, the tank structure, the characteristics of the ground, the physical properties of a substance contained, etc. all interacting with each
3.11. Runaway reactions
Exothermic runaway reactions may occur when impurities or for