As leaders and experts in the lightning protection industry, it is our job to identify any problems at your facility and propose the safest solution to protect your assets. In some cases, we even create our own products to accommodate our customers’ needs (read more about the Static Lasso here). It is also our responsibility to shed light on any issues that may have been overlooked in the past. Overhead venting to the atmosphere has been commonplace in the industry for years. However, it presents a bit of a challenge when it comes to protecting tanks against lightning.
Saltwater disposal tanks must be able to breathe to relieve both vacuum and pressure. Vent valves are typically placed on top of tanks to release this pressure. However, venting on top of a tank produces a cloud of flammable gas. Should a direct or nearby lightning strike take place, the flammable gases and vapors around the tank could result in ignition and fire on an unprotected facility. Even if your tanks are outfitted with a lightning protection system, these flammable gases could still pose a threat.
There are few options to mitigate your facility’s risk of ignition and fire:
Both catenary and dissipation lightning protection systems are designed to safely accept a lightning strike and take it to the ground. Because we have seen several issues with the way saltwater disposals and some production facilities are venting flammable gases, certain considerations need to be made when deciding which type of system to install.
While proper tank venting is ultimately the responsibility of the facility owner, we can help with the solution to reduce the risk of damage, loss and fires.
To learn more about tank venting, the risks, and your lightning protection options, contact Michael LeBlanc at firstname.lastname@example.org.