Condensate leak from flare condensate pump

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Alert ID: 
Description of Task: 

Condensate leak from flare condensate pump

During a routine tour of facilities a member of the production department observed a continuous fluid release which was being contained within a sump below a flare gas scrubber. It was noted that flare condensate pump was in operation at the time. The local stop button was pressed and the pump valves isolated with the leak stopping immediately. The standby pump was selected as duty pump. A quantity of fluid had collected in the sump area.

Lessons Identified: 

The set point of the pressure monitoring switch was set such that in the event of a seal failure there would not be sufficient pressure rise to for the switch to operate and the pump to trip

There was no requirement to check the operation of the pressure monitoring switch in the planned maintenance system

Whilst the platform was under previous ownership, the sump below the flare gas scrubber had been sealed up to prevent a condensate release draining to sea however this now allows a build-up of the condensate in the sump in the event of a leak


Ensure that the set points of any pressure monitoring switches are set accordingly so that the pump will be tripped in the event of a seal failure

Ensure that operation of the pressure monitoring switches are checked as part of a suitable planned maintenance system

Be aware of any historical changes that may have occurred prior to platform ownership and ensure that suitable robust management of change procedures have been applied

Information source: 
Contact Details: 
Andrew Howard, Hydrocarbon Release Prevention Focal Point, Talisman Sinopec Energy UK
Specific Equipment: 

Flare condensate pump

Incident consequence: 
Hydrocarbon release
Production operations
Fixed Installation
Cause of accident or incident: 
Uncontrolled release of a flammable gas or liquid