Lightning Protection for Salt Water Disposal

Saltwater Disposal Well

Oil- and gas-produced wastewater is disposed of by injection into an approved and certified saltwater disposal well. An independent well is drilled deep enough to penetrate an established formation that is porous enough to absorb the injected wastewater. A typical saltwater disposal facility has a settling battery, where the transported produced water is stored to separate any crude. The settled crude oil is then stored in steel tanks, while the produced water is typically kept in fiberglass tanks. During storage the fluids vent gas, which is released through vent valves to relieve tank pressure. Volatile vapor concentration is usually found in vent valves and atop the tanks. Lightning-induced streamers on vent valves, thief hatches, and metal piping atop the tank battery creates adequate heat to ignite hydrocarbon vapors, leading to tank fires. Steel tanks are considered naturally grounded, whereas fiberglass tanks have to be shielded to prevent direct lightning strikes that can ignite them. The flow of produced water in and out of fiberglass tanks generates static, which, if left uncontrolled, can cause in-tank fires.

Transfer of Produced Water

Poor grounding and bonding of tanker trucks with tanker load points can result in tanker truck fires because of the static generation that occurs during loading. Communication downtime results when the output of level transmitters, flow transmitters, PLC power supply, CPU, and control cards is damaged or compromised due to lightning events. This directly reduces your site’s productivity. Petro Guardian’s engineered surge protection and grounding for your RTU mitigates instrumentation downtime.

Disposal Tanks

Protection Matrix

Grounding Bonding Lightning Static Volt
Fiberglass Tanks
Vent Valve
Thief Hatch
Truck Load-Out
Pumps & Motors

Damage and Downtime

Damage and downtime to produced saltwater disposal operations can be avoided with Petro Guardian’s engineered approach to grounding and bonding. Contact the to find out how to improve the integrity of grounding and bonding at your production wells, water injection wells, and gas injection wells.

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.