If the oil-based mud is allowed to remain inside the Separator vessel, hydrocarbon gases may begin to collect inside the Separator vessel, posing an explosive hazard. This would necessitate a second purge of the system. As a result, the internal spaces of the Separator vessel and associated pipes are all classified as Zone O or Class I, Division I areas. Hydrocarbon gases can be present in any or all of these locations at any time, even after adequate purging processes have been applied. Internal access to Separator vessels can be exceedingly hazardous.

Ineffective purge attempts may result in burns and other personal injuries owing to flashback from the presence of hydrocarbons and different ignition sources such as burner systems, sparks from tools, and static electricity.

Appropriate purge procedures must be implemented to ensure that the Separator vessel and associated pipework are completely free of hydrocarbons prior to opening them to the atmosphere. This will enable for safe entry for cleaning and dismantling for transportation and maintenance. Kapwell recommends two types of methods: one that employs nitrogen as a purging media and another that uses water as a purging medium. Either approach can be employed for land-based or offshore Separator vessel installations. Both treatments require a minimum of two purges to be effective.

Both the Water Purge Procedure and the Nitrogen Purge Procedure have been developed for environmentally sensitive places where the discharge of fluids is not prohibited and the treatment of fluids is extremely expensive. It has shown to be a highly effective method of eliminating the Separator vessel and related piping.

Kapwell has developed several methods for conducting a complete purging that are guaranteed to work.

In order to obtain additional information, please contact a Kapwell representative by email at info@kapwell.co.uk or by phone at +44 1224 969 262.


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