Analysis of the Potential Energy Sources of Risk of Hand Tools in Presence of Hazardous Area in Segment of Oil and Gas

Denize Dias de Carvalho(1), Leandro Erthal(2*), Caetano Moraes(3)

(1) Biochemical Engineering Department (EQ), Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), Brazil
(2) Safety, Health and Environment Department (She Depto), Petrobras - Petroleo Brasileiro S.A., Brazil
(3) Chemical Engineering Department (EQ), Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), Brazil
(*) Corresponding author

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One of the methods adopted to protect against explosion in the oil industry refers to the use of hand tools for non-ferrous materials, usually bronze, also known as non-sparking hand tools. Studies conducted by the American Petroleum Institute (API/USA) and European Standards disagree as to the risks involved in the energy of sparks produced by mechanical tools. The API advises that operations with mechanical equipment at high speeds and high contact pressures are extremely difficult to produce sparks capable of causing ignition of gases and vapors in the oil industry, and concludes that the risks involved are low for hydrocarbon vapors. The IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission), however, has begun to formulate a set of standards on this topic. These standards will be adopted and may affect the operations in the oil and gas industry. Using data from the literature and laboratory tests, this paper aims to clarify and demonstrate the actual risks to the energy produced by ferrous and nonferrous hand tools.
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Hand Tools; Hazardous Area; Oil and Gas

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