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Helideck Fire Protection

Foam Skid Maintenance and Refurbishment


Our client, one of the world's largest oil and gas companies manage a portfolio of offshore producing fields in the U.K. Their work ranges from high-pressure, high-temperature gas condensate fields, to heavy oil fields and subsea developments in the North Sea.

Helideck Fire Protection

The System

The client's North Sea platform is a normally unmanned installation. However, due to a production complication at one point in time, the normally unmanned platform went from receiving two maintenance visits a month to receiving three flights a day with personnel. The helideck was receiving more flights than a large manned platform usually receives.

Originally, the Helideck Certification Agency (HCA) had given the operator a license to operate a limited number of flights per month. So, with the necessity to transport a higher volume of personnel, the HCA required the operator to improve the fire fighting coverage on the helideck. At risk of having their operations temporarily shut down, the client required immediate increase of fire fighting coverage. The solution was three 4000-litre foam skids.

Generally, a fixed platform will have several fire pumps that are capable of drawing thousands of litres of water. As this normally unmanned installation did not have that facility available, the firefighting system had to be standalone and self sufficient. Two systems would go onto the platform itself and the third would be stored onshore for training and backup in the instance one was used offshore.

In the instance of a fire, these skids have the potential to deliver between 700 - 850 litres per minute for 5-6 minutes which provided a much more effective solution than the helideck's existing portable extinguishers. When tested at an onshore training facility, the fire was rapidly extinguished. The system was successfully approved as an effective solution to lift the restrictions on the helideck operations.

The Maintenance

Each foam skid system is inspected annually and serviced with periodic tank pressure tests in accordance with the Pressure Equipment Directive (PED) and Pressure Systems Safety Regulations 2000 (PSSR). Foam samples are regularly analysed for breakdown and performance.

During the most recent tank service, we replaced and refurbished a number of components during this intervention to bring the skid back to its original condition, including:

Testing and Inspection

  • Hydrostatic pressure test to EN 1968
  • Internal inspection
  • Magnetic Particle inspection (MPI)
  • 30 % MPI scanning
  • Proof load test to BS 7072

Replacement Components

  • System control box
  • Pressure regulator
  • Pressure safety valve
  • Low expansion branch
  • Non-aspirating nozzle
  • Discharge hoses

Refurbished Components

  • Skid frame
  • 4000-litre tank
Helideck Fire Protection

Helideck Fire Protection

For more information on our foam skid systems and refurbishments and fire suppression services, please contact our team.

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