Facility Grounding and Bonding
Protect Your Oilfield Assets
Tank battery infrastructure at production and saltwater disposal facilities comprises of steel and fiberglass tanks that are interconnected with steel and fiberglass pipes both on the top and at the bottom. There are many isolated metal components on each of the tanks that might be a source of static discharge during nearby lightning activity. Static discharges also originate from the flow of volatile fluids.
To minimize the risk of static discharge from the isolated metal bodies, before any of the static mitigation and lightning dissipation devices are installed, it is important that all the metal infrastructure including isolated metal components are electrically bonded to a common grounded backbone.
Petro Guardian’s Best Practices recommends establishing the base bonding with a common grounded backbone using a Class 1 lightning protection cable. The grounding and bonding backbone is designed to carry both static charges and lightning currents that get induced or directly injected onto the facility.
The Petroguardian grounding and bonding backbone includes 3 parts:
Ground RodThis is the physical connection to earth to safely and quickly discharge both lightning and static current to ground. UL96A compliant electrodes are driven diametrically opposed and at the farthest extents of the containment at the base of each ladder and secured with a polyplastic test well. The ground rod within the test well is installed with a Class 1 lightning protection copper cable which connects to a Class 1 lightning protection aluminum cable via a bimetallic connector.
Grounded BackboneThis grounded backbone is a Class 1 aluminum lightning protection cable that is installed across the catwalk to bond each tank and the metallic assets on each tank to a central point, keeping them at the same potential during lightning storms. The backbone terminates into a minimum of two ground rods. The connection to the ground rod is made using a bi-metallic connector as noted above.
BondingBonding involves the connection of electrically isolated metal bodies such as the thief hatch base flange, bull plug, and vent pipes to the grounded backbone. This bonding is established using the main size Class 1 aluminum lightning protection cable as the grounded backbone.