Minimising brittle fracture in Oil & Gas facilities
Fire survivability analysis and blowdown system design

Seminar - 14 September 2017, Kuwait

A free seminar covering two important topics

PSE's Centre of Expertise in pressure relief, blowdown and flare systems will host a free seminar in Kuwait. The seminar explains the importance of high-fidelity modelling approaches, when they should be applied and how they fit in with engineering workflows and industry guidelines (such as API 521). The Kuwait seminar will focus on two areas of great importance:

Attendees are invited to register for either seminar or both. The seminar is fully catered with lunch and refreshments during breaks.

Minimising brittle fracture risks and capital investment in Oil & Gas facilities

Transient process behaviour during blowdown can lead to extremely low temperatures. Metal temperatures below the ductile range create a real risk of brittle fracture that requires the use of LTCS or stainless steel to mitigate. The predicted extent of these risks can drive enormously expensive materials-of-construction decisions.

This seminar is an extended case study of the entire process design lifecycle of a gas plant. The presentations compare detailed dynamic analysis against conventional approaches for depressurisation system design. The seminar discusses the relevant API Standard requirements and recent changes to the understanding of the fundamental thermodynamic and physical basis that have led to the tightening of those standards. The case shows how analysis early in the project life cycle can facilitate decision making and promote inherently safe design. The case study also highlights the designers’ responsibility to assess other process safety scenarios including plant start-up (pressurisation) and localised concerns.


8:30 Registration, refreshments
9:00 Session 1 - Pressure relief, blowdown and flare systems: guidelines and analysis
  • Pressure relief, blowdown and flare system integrity
  • API 521 6th edition changes and analysis requirements
  • PSE Oil & Gas and gFLARE
9:30 Session 2 - Low temperature assessment
  • Low temperature assessment
  • Process blowdown: single vessel analysis
  • Process blowdown: actual plant segment analysis
    • High pressure compressor
    • Finger type slug catcher
    • Low temperature separator
    • Gas sweetening unit
  • Case study LT1: Reduced capital expenditure in the design of a high pressure gas plant
  • HP / LP interfaces
  • Case study LT2: High / low pressure interface in gas plant
11:00 Refreshment break
11:20 Session 3 - Full facility modelling - for accurate pressure relief and blowdown assessment
  • Flare system design criteria
  • Dynamic flare system analysis
  • Case study F1: Cold depressurisation of a gas processing facility
  • Case study F2: Flare capacity gas plant blowdown
  • Case study F3: Staggered blowdown on an oil & gas platform
  • Case study F4: Blocked outlet on a gas processing facility
12:30 Lunch


Fire survivability analysis and blowdown system design

This seminar describes two important applications of dynamic analysis in fire overpressure protection. The first part of the seminar introduces an analytical methodology to assess system survivability under fire attack, and so inform blowdown system design in upstream processes. Updated industry standards, including the 6th edition of API 521, now recognise the need to consider vessel stress during blowdown and, critically, that guidance issued prior to 2014 may not be an appropriate basis for vessel survivability. This explains why vessels are at risk when exposed to fire, the potential for loss of containment and the possible escalation to a major hazard. The impact on process design is evaluated through a series of relevant project case studies in offshore platforms and gas processing facilities. These case studies demonstrate how a fully integrated dynamic model optimising transient blowdown loads with available flare capacity improves accuracy, reduces uncertainty, and provides solutions to complex situations where application of Passive Fire Protection is not practical or flare capacity is limiting.

In the second part of this seminar we discuss relief valves. These are considered more suitable for protection of vapour/liquid pressure systems in LNG and Refining/ Petrochemical plants. The fire relief load is often not governing for relief valve or flare sizing, however many man-hours are expended on these calculations. This session reviews the basis for fire sizing and the common pitfalls with industry sizing methods and introduces the application of dynamics to solve the fire heat input to the fluid and to provide the most accurate sizing of valves in a single tool.

The over-conservatism inherent with standard industry methods is significantly reduced. Users will also appreciate the benefit of reduced effort and uncertainty in preparing fire calculations with improved accuracy in valve sizing.

This session features a live demonstration of the tool and its features. Two case examples are presented from a recent relief valve verification study, where the tool was used to establish that valves were acceptable as designed after standard methods showed them to be undersized.


12:30 Lunch
13:30 Session 4 - Fire analysis and overpressure protection requirements
  • Basis for provision of pressure relief devices and depressuring systems
  • Pool and jet fires
  • API 521 6th edition requirements for depressuring
14:00 Session 5 - Guidelines and workflows
  • Guidelines for API 521 empirical and analytical methods
  • The analytical method for fire analysis
    • Vessel wall temperature
    • Stress calculations and rupture prediction
    • Validation: BAM fire test and analysis
  • Fire analysis workflows: flare limitations, rupture
    • Aims and key considerations: RO sizing, flare limits, rupture, Passive Fire Protection
    • Conventional workflows, tools and limitations
    • Handling of uncertainty
15:30 Refreshment break
15:50 Session 6 - Case studies - enhancements to workflows and calculations
  • Jet fire analysis on 3-phase inlet separator
  • Slug catcher staged blowdown sizing
  • Reducing Passive Fire Protection requirements on an offshore facility using dynamic flare network simulation
17:00 End


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