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.


    With over 1200 individual metallic tines splayed out like a brush, the streamer delaying terminal (STD) allows electrons to easily transfer via many tiny points. These SDTs (also called dissipaters) bleed off energy by coronal discharge, which reduces the potential required for arc formation. By allowing the energy to dissipate from the highest and outermost points, upward streamer formation is delayed, which buys time for upward streamers to form elsewhere on unrestricted structures. The earliest and strongest streamer will typically win the lightning strike. Once lightning has chosen a path, the risk of creating a streamer for that lightning strike is gone. By avoiding streamer formation, Petro Guardian’s system minimizes the risk of ignition from streamers and direct lightning strikes.


    Petro Guardian’s third party tested dissipaters can handle a current 1.5 times greater than franklin rods before forming static arcs. Although there is no guarantee against lightning strikes, the dissipater system is the best technology available for protecting tanks and structures in a flammable environment.


    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.

  • Indirect Lightning Strike

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

    When a tank fire occurs, the indirect effects of lightning and static are often not considered. After a lightning-caused tank fire is investigated, often the effects from a nearby strike are to blame. The charge from lightning striking nearby, even up to a quarter mile away, can travel across the resistant ground to eventually reach the tank battery. When this charge arrives, it will energize the facility, potentially creating arcs and sparks near flammable gasses.

    Petro Guardian installs bonding, grounding and static protection equipment to mitigate spark formation at these critical areas: the lids and flanges of every thief hatch, the interior of tanks (see Static Lasso®), and metal bodies in the vapor space on top of tanks.

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

    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: direct strike protection, static protection, grounding and bonding, and load out protection.

  • Work with our team to addresses all concerns

    Co-Develop Internal Standard

    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.