Crowcon Detection Instruments Ltd - a Halma company

Gas detection for the oil and gas industry - Oil, Gas & Refineries

Supported by the global reach of its mature and dedicated distributor network, Crowcon has an enviable track record in the oil and gas industries. Read on to learn more about the applications, challenges and gas detection solutions typically seen in this demanding industry, or learn about how Crowcon recently helped Indian company Cairn Energy at their Mangala oil and gas processing facility. 

Looking at the schematics of typical production processes below, it can be seen that almost everywhere on these plants there are risks from toxic and / or flammable gases. The same can be said for downstream plants too and the need to combine fast, reliable detection with minimum false alarms and easy maintenance is well understood by Crowcon.

Across these processes the gas hazards are typically toxic hydrogen sulphide and carbon monoxide, oxygen deficiency or flammable gases such as methane, propane and butane. The table above gives useful general information on these gases, though each facility should undertake their own risk assessments and set alarm levels in accordance with these.

The fact that the very substance being sought is both toxic and flammable heightens the need for effective gas detection.

  • Sour crude oil brings with it hydrogen sulphide. H2S has a distinctive odour, but as levels increase the olfactory nerve is damaged masking the danger from workers
  • Methane is trapped in wells above oil, is resident in the oil removed and used to power turbines. Being a flammable gas and a cause of displacement of oxygen, levels have to be monitored
  • Their proximity to operational plant means living accommodation and offices must be monitored against such risks as methane and carbon monoxide from heating and generating systems
  • The pre-entry checks associated with entering confined spaces, such as storage vessels and platform legs, call for multigas portable units able to detect oxygen levels as well as toxic and flammable gases

The environment in which oil and gas production takes place can vary drastically. Snow, ice, rain, wind, sand, heat and humidity can all cause issues which affect gas detection.

Being aware of these factors during product design is imperative and has led Crowcon to develop products to withstand even the harshest of environments. For example, input from exploration and production customers led to the successful development of IRmax, a flammable gas detector using H2S immune IR technology and highly obscuration resistant optics, reducing the need for maintenance.

In flammable atmospheres intrinsic safety and explosion-proof design is paramount. With ATEX and UL classifications, Crowcon’s fixed and portable detectors are fit for purpose, utilising rugged exteriors designed for everyday use.

Extended calibration periods and remote interrogation of fixed detectors keep processes on track and minimise down-time. If detectors do have to be removed, the Crowcon Detective+ area monitor can offer effective temporary monitoring. With ultra loud 104dB alarms, rugged frame and built-in pump for faster response the Detective+ ensures safety of plant and personnel.

Crowcon recognises the value and need for simplicity of integration with existing equipment. To this end, a range of solutions are available; from standard fixed detector / beacon packages, to fully tailored monitoring systems incorporating gas and/or fire detectors as well as distributed control systems, mimic panels or remote annunciators. Our experience enables us to help you ensure plant operatives can be alerted quickly to gas situations, and take appropriate action swiftly.

Experience in delivering dependability and ease of use also applies to Crowcon portable products. As the pioneer in simple, one-button operation units, with internal data logging for management confidence, Crowcon single and multigas products are widely trusted by the oil and gas industry for ambient monitoring and confined space use.

Crowcon’s oil and gas industry products and services are supported around the globe by its regional support centres and a mature network of experienced distributors.