On behalf of a consortium of 16
oil companies a project was initiated in the late 1990s to review the risks associated
with large diameter (greater than 40m) open top floating roof storage
tanks. The project was known as the LASTFIRE project. (Large
Atmospheric Storage Tanks).
The project was initiated due to
the oil and petrochemical industries recognition that the fire hazards
associated with large diameter, open top floating roof tanks were
insufficiently understood to be able to develop fully justified site
specific fire response and risk reduction policies
A true Fire Hazard Management(FHM) approach to reducing the fire associated risk to as low as is
reasonably practicable was adopted during the project. This is in line
with current regulatory trends towards preparation of ôSafety Cases"
whereby all aspects of risk mitigation including incident prevention
the direction of Resource Protection International (www.resprotint.co.uk),a
Working Group comprising RPI, BP and Shell worked closely with the
project sponsors to investigate these risks and to disseminate the
findings of the review in the form of a comprehensive 300 page document
incident frequency survey
review of incident escalation mechanisms
risk reduction options
review of foam properties
lightning issues review
foam performance test for storage tank fires
The LASTFIRE Project provided an
independent and comprehensive assessment of fire related risk in large,
open top floating roof storage tanks resulting in a methodology by
which site specific Fire Hazard Management policies can be developed
and implemented. It therefore represents a major advance in the
knowledge of this risk.
Recent follow up work has included
the development of the LASTFIRE Risk Workbook into a fully computerised
analysis tool, the delivery of a Storage Tank Firefighting Workshop for
RPI's clients worldwide, and the development of a foam performance test
exclusively for storage tank application.
The LASTFIRE Project is being continually updated to encompass all tank types
(fixed roof, internal floating roof and open top floating roof) over 10
metres in diameter. Pressurised storage is also being added to the LASTFIRE database.
Updates of the LASTFIRE incident frequency survey and risk reduction options documentation have been produced,
recognising new developments in technology and fire hazard management
provision. LASTFIRE meetings are held internationally at least twice a
year and the LASTFIRE Group is now undoubtedly the leading worldwide
forum for tank fires and tank fire related issues. LASTFIRE members
have access to all presentations and LASTFIRE Update deliverables
including the incident survey and risk reduction measures guidance.
LASTFIRE Group is also undertaking research into crude oil boilovers
and fires in internal floating roof tanks. Of particular interest at
present are the latter, and work is ongoing to investigate vapour
concentrations inside the roof spaces of internal floating roof tanks
and potential unsafe conditions.