Lightning Protection Engineered for Oil and Gas

lightning protection engineering oil and gas

Experienced Team of Engineers


Petro Guardian’s experienced engineering team works collaboratively with your operations and engineering group to co-develop a standardized approach to protecting your assets from the dangers of ignitions caused by lightning strikes and static discharge. Our plans incorporate and comply with standards for lightning protection and static mitigation, including NFPA, IEEE, API, and IEC.

Bonding & Grounding

Petro Guardian offers a thorough, engineered solution to bonding and grounding your tank batteries.

Grounding and bonding is the foundation for any lightning and static protection system. Attachment to earth is critical; grounding needs to be for a specific purpose and to meet a specific standard.

Lightning travels on the skin of conductors, which is why UL rated lightning grounding cables are made from uncoated strands of loosely woven wires. Other UL 96 grounding and bonding components have the mass and surface contact needed to carry lightning’s current. Just like a chain, a bonding and grounding system is only as good as its weakest link. A properly installed system of UL 96 rated grounding and bonding components creates a low impedance path to ground.

Petro Guardian recommends installing ground rods on opposite sides of a tank battery and bonds each critical component to a dedicated lightning conductor trunk line. Our recommended bonding and grounding system includes bonding of thief hatches, vent pipes, catwalks, bull plugs, tank lift straps, tank sticks and all metal bodies in the tank battery’s vapor space. While grounding and bonding remains the foundation for a production or SWD tank battery’s protection system, contact Petro Guardian for more information about the other 4 parts of the protection plan: lightning protection, indirect strike protection, static protection, and load out protection.

Direct Lightning Strike

Petro Guardian’s direct strike mitigation system protects flammable environments.

Direct lightning strikes are a clear and present danger to the oilfield industry. During lightning formation, a cloud sends a stepped leader towards the ground. However, before reaching ground, multiple upward streamers attempt to connect with and win attachment to the step leader, creating the main lightning strike.A streamer formation also provides ample heat to ignite flammable gasses. Petro Guardian’s direct strike mitigation system protects flammable environments from both streamers and direct lightning strikes.

Conventional technologies used for lightning protection are not necessarily the best systems to use in a flammable environment. For example, a typical franklin rod, while effective for presenting a single point for lightning to strike and conduct to ground, is not the right solution for tank batteries. Catenary wire lightning protection systems are not suitable either because they provide lightning attachments points within the flammable gas column. For tank batteries, simply grounding a lightning strike is not enough. Petro Guardian’s solution deploys streamer delaying air terminals with an ionizing head, instead of a single blunt point.

Direct lightning protection is only one part of the solution to avoid lightning and static induced tank fires. Contact Petro Guardian for more information about the other four parts to protect production and SWD tank batteries: indirect strike protection, static protection, grounding and bonding, and load out protection.

Static Protection

Protecting Tank Batteries from Static-Induced Fires

Petro Guardian has developed an innovative method to protect fiberglass and lined steel tanks from lightning and static risks. The Static Lasso® is a system that deploys grounded non-corrosive material with a multitude of small points that remain in direct contact with the fluid and vapors inside a tank. In contrast to chains, rods and plates, which are not effective since they present a flat surface, the Static Lasso® features a frayed carbon fiber assembly which contains a multitude of microscopic points.

The Static Lasso® is non-corrosive, and highly conductive, making it a very effective means of draining static from fiberglass tanks.

Static protection is only one part of the solution to avoid lightning and static induced tank fires. Contact Petro Guardian for more information about the other components to protecting production and SWD tank batteries: direct strike protection, indirect strike protection, truck load out, grounding and bonding.

Lightning Surge Protection

Petro Guardian’s surge protection system protects sensitive electronics.

Lightning Surges are brief but powerful over-voltages and over-currents often accompanied with electromagnetic & radio frequency interference (EMI/RFI) lasting up to a few hundred microseconds. These are transmitted along the power line or via ground connection as a result of nearby lightning strikes. They are also induced directly into the power and control cables by the electromagnetic field that lightning creates.

A Coordinated SPD Plan comprised of a layered defense is the best Lightning Surge Protection approach in eliminating the destructive effects of lightning induced transients in Variable Frequency Drives; Power Supplies; Control Cards and Level Transmitters.

Partner with the Petro Guardian Team

Petro Guardian’s lightning protection team is the most experienced in the oil and gas industry. With our plan, you can rest assured that you have the highest level of protection for your personnel, equipment, and processing.