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LASTFIRE project (Large Atmospheric Storage Tanks)

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 avdopted during the project. This is in line with current regulatory trends towards preparation of “Safety Cases" whereby all aspects of risk mitigation including incident prevention are reviewed.

Under 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 including:

  • incident frequency survey
  • review of incident escalation mechanisms
  • risk reduction options
  • review of foam properties
  • risk workbook
  • 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.