In the operation and development of a sour gas field, a key challenge is ensuring the process safety and integrity of the asset and, most importantly, the safety of the personnel working with high concentrations of hydrogen sulphide (H2S). To help the industry manage the risks throughout the project’s lifecycle, DNV GL has now initiated a Joint Industry Project (JIP). Operators are invited to join this JIP to obtain synergies through the development of guidelines on design, construction, operations and training.
Several sour gas fields are under development or in operation in different parts of the world. The focus is now on the Middle East, as this region looks likely to meet its soaring domestic energy demand through its large reserves. However, sour gas is toxic, highly corrosive and explosive, so both the development and operation of these fields are associated with a high risk level relating to Health, Safety and the Environment (HSE), process safety and integrity.
“Facing these risks, and given the inadequate existing standards and best practices for handling high H2S concentrations, DNV GL has now initiated a JIP to develop international standards and guidelines specific to sour gas fields,” says Koheila Molazemi, DNV GL’s Risk Management and Advisory Service Line Manager in the UAE.
As a driver for this JIP, DNV GL analysed all the available standards, procedures and current practices. Gaps were identified and revealed that the available standards were not adequate to effectively manage the H2S hazards.