FLACS was developed in close cooperation with and support from the oil and gas industries. FLACS has been extensively validated against experimental data and is a preferred consequence prediction software due its ability to model the the intial explosion and near field spatial effects. Safety studies for the oil and gas industry represent a signficant segment of the simulation services performed with FLACS by GexCon.
Companies which are exposed to hydrocarbons, and other combustible gases or materials, should systematically identify hazards related to possible atmospheric releases of these materials. The hazard identification process should be used both to evaluate the consequences of hazardous events and to determine appropriate risk mitigation measures. Risk mitigation measures should focus on:
- preventing incidents (i.e. reducing the probability of occurrence)
- controlling incidents (i.e. limit the extent and duration of a hazardous event)
- mitigating the effects (i.e. reducing the consequences)
This is in accordance with and required by various standards, such as ISO 13702 "Petroleum and natural gas industries - Control and mitigation of fires and explosions on offshore production installations - Requirements and guidelines". Due to the geometrical complexity of many offshore and onshore plants, gas explosions are complex events that may be accurately evaluated only by performing detailed CFD analyses, e.g. using FLACS. An identification of hazards related to gas explosions should therefore be based on the application of such tools. The figures below illustrate some of the capabilities of FLACS.
Simulation studies that GexCon frequently performs for the oil and gas industry include:
- Ventilation, including exhaust and helideck studies
- Dispersion studies (hydrocarbon releases)
- Stack releases of dense gases
- Gas detector optimization
- Explosion studies, worst-case or dispersion based study
- Mitigation and layout-modifications
- Accident/incident investigations
- Quantitative explosion risk assessments (ventilation, dispersion and explosion)