refinery fire protection

10 Refineries Close in TX, Hurricane Harvey Hurts Energy Hub

10 Refineries Close in TX, Hurricane Harvey Hurts Energy Hub.jpg

If you're interested in donating to Hurricane Harvey relief, here is a link to Global Giving.  All funds given using this link will go directly to serving Hurricane Harvey victims.

Gulf Coast, TX -- Hurricane Harvey (now downgraded to a tropical storm), is hurting the Gulf Coast energy hub as major refineries are forced to close.

At this point, ten oil refinery plants have closed in Houston and Corpus Christi.  When weather is normal, these refineries refine 2 million barrels of oil a day, on average.  The S&P estimated that approximately 2.2 million barrels per day of oil capacity were offline due to the tropical storm.

The Gulf Coast is home to 1/3 of the country's capacity to turn oil into gas, diesel , and other products.  F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems has a Gulf Coast office that serves this sector in La Porte, TX. 

Last Friday, Hurricane Harvey made landfall as a Category 4.  By mid-Saturday, it was down-graded to a tropical storm.  While it was downgraded to a tropical storm, it continued to impact Texas.  Houston, TX saw severe flooding with ten-feet of water in some parts.

On Sunday, 105 workers from oil and gas production platforms were evacuated.  About 22% of the oil produced in the Gulf was shut down that day.  

The last hurricane to negatively impact the oil industry was Hurricane Gustav in 2008.

You can read more about Hurricane Harvey's effect on the oil and gas industry at CNN Money.

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One of the Largest Refineries in U.S. Gets Fire Protection Makeover

refinery fire protection

A large oil refinery in the Midwest needed to get their fire protection in check, so they called F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems (SHS). When SHS showed up, they found that the fire protection systems hadn't been maintained in years and several were out of service. SHS has worked with them for 3 years to bring their fire protection up-to-date. Each year SHS has managed to reduce the dollars spent.

Midwest Refinery Powers Millions of Cars a Day

This project is one of the largest oil refineries in the country. It produces almost a half million barrels of oil a day - enough to fuel millions of cars

 each day. This facility determined that they needed fire protection maintenance for their 1,400-acre complex. When F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems arrived, they realized this was no small service job. Two years later, this refinery's fire protection system is close to the top of its game and it continues to get stronger each year.

Over 2,000 Devices to Inspect and Test

F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems was brought in to inspect and service the refinery's fire protection systems. However, upon inspection, SHS realized that the systems hadn't been maintained in years. Not only that, but the facility had a large quantity of systems that needed repaired or replaced. They had 107 fire alarm panels, 22 VESDA's, 30 inert gas suppression systems, 850 gas detectors, 40 manual foam systems, 52 deluge systems, 10 wet systems, 1 dry system, 11 fire pumps, 659 fire hydrants, and 225 monitors on site.


Preventative Maintenance Saves Millions

F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems began working with the refinery in 2014. Many of the systems were out of order. They repaired the systems they could and replaced the systems that couldn't be fixed. In all, they have repaired 86 fire hydrants and replaced 11 dry valves, 2 fire alarm panels, among numerous other repairs and upgrades to their fire systems. Once the systems were up and running, SHS began a preventative maintenance program to ensure that their systems were ready in the event of a fire.

The results of the project were better than expected. From 2014 to 2016, F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems was able to reduce the refinery's fire protection maintenance costs by over 150% by repairing, inspecting and maintaining the fire protection systems. The project manager for the job said, "Although we have done significant repairs and upgrades to [the refinery's] fire systems, we still have a lot of work to do and look forward to being their preferred fire protection contractor for years to come."

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