Transneft Far East has held a large-scale firefighting and tactical drill on extinguishing a simulated oil storage fire at oil pumping station (PS) No. 34 located near the village of Galkinо close to Khabarovsk.
The event was aimed at practising the tactics of fire extinction at oil storage and pumping facilities as well as at improving interaction between professionals, personnel of the oil transportation facility, members of volunteer fire brigades and fire guard units of the Khabarovsk Territory Directorate of the EMERCOM (the Emergencies Ministry) of Russia.
Under the drill’s scenario, a clap followed by a fire outbreak occurred due to a disruption in the process of oil pumping from a vertical steel floating roof tank (VSFRT) with the capacity of 50,000 m3. Two “injured” persons were detected at the VSFRT’s stairs. A “fire” notification was sent to the control unit of the operator of PS No. 34; an automatic fire-extinguishing system failed.
Facility-based firefighting crews, who were the first to arrive at the emergency site, began cooling the “burning” tank and neighbouring tanks using portable fire monitors and got ready for a subsurface foam attack (injecting foam directly into the oil layer). After the attack commenced, they did not stop injecting the foam until the simulated fire died out. The “fire” was eliminated within 15 minutes. The task of fire containment and elimination was performed faster than the prescribed time limit.
The drill brought together personnel of PS No. 34 and Khabarovsk Central Maintenance Division, as well as volunteer fire brigades’ and facility-based firefighting crews and forces of the Khabarovsk Territory Directorate of the EMERCOM of Russia. Altogether, 60 persons and 14 vehicles were involved.
As noted by Aleksandr Tomilov, Deputy Head of the Firefighting and Emergency Rescue Directorate at the Khabarovsk Territory Directorate of the EMERCOM of Russia, drills like this enable to determine the level of preparedness of firefighting and rescue units for extinguishing fires and oil and gas facilities while letting practise teamwork between units during joint operations, develop managers’ tactical mindset and help perform the mission with maximum efficiency.