By Scott Starr, Firetrace International marketing director
The oil and gas industries have lived through unprecedented challenges in the past year or so. With the pressure on the price of oil driving down investment, we’re seeing improvements in infrastructure being limited or deferred.
For many companies, this includes investment in safety advances.
But as we gear up for the Offshore Technology Conference in Houston, Texas next week, I’d ask the sector to consider that increasing this type of investment may actually be the most prudent way forward.
In the face of diminishing margins the impact of a loss or interruption is magnified, so investing in safety measures – and limiting losses – is critical insurance for these difficult times.
And Firetrace International can help. We’ve built up a successful global company focused on taking fire suppression into the localized spaces where fires start.
Typically, oil and gas facilities approach fire suppression in the macro sense, with rooms and large areas covered by large-scale suppression systems. Regularly in this scenario, fire consumes critical components inside an enclosure and ultimately escapes the enclosure before the activation of the system, which in turn releases large volumes of costly agent.
We’d suggest a different path. While the macro approach has an important role to play, consider a system where the detection and suppression take place while the fire is still confined to the originating enclosure.
In many of these cases the impact of a fire is comparable to a simple blown fuse, provided there are system redundancies in place. In fact the damage within the cabinet is often limited to the failed component, meaning a much faster and less costly repair.
Taking the time to identify some of the high-hazard or critical systems and installing an additional layer of protection – even in times when investing doesn’t seem the obvious choice – will support the long-term sustainability of your business.