Terra Nova uses innovative on board gas detection technology for improved results

							Terra Nova receives award for new gas detection technology.
Zona Bath and Ed Sharpe hold the Institution of Chemical Engineers (ChemE) 2015 Process Safety Award.

The Terra Nova Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessel, located offshore 350 km east of St. John’s, is often exposed to situations of extreme weather. As a result, the FPSO’s methane gas detection system was susceptible to false detections from snow, rain and fog, leading to false alarms and plant shutdowns. After H2S gas began to develop within the reservoir, the engineering department replaced the detector with a new one that was able to detect both methane and H2S within a single unit.

The previous model measured how much energy was absorbed in the air. Dispersion modelling has shown that improvements can be made with new technology. The new detector is five times more sensitive and equipped with technology to detect the specific molecules that are associated with methane and H2S.

With the new detectors and by optimizing the layout, we can now detect 100% of releases. As a result of adopting new technology and utilizing new gas release modelling, a performance-based design was selected – one which has reduced the number of false alarms and eliminated false trips. This has resulted in increased reliability, decreased gas detection maintenance requirements and improved overall safety on the FPSO.

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