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Hydrogen Safety Strategies and Risk Management in Equinor


Equinor has, in recent years, focused on low carbon technologies in addition to conventional oil & gas technologies. Clear strategic directions have been set to demonstrate Equinor’s commitment to longterm value creation that supports the Paris Agreement. This includes acceleration of decarbonization by establishing a well-functioning market for carbon capture, transport, and storage (CCS), as well as development of competitive hydrogen-based value chains and solutions. The specific properties of hydrogen must be taken into account in order to ensure safe design and operation of hydrogen systems, as these properties differ substantially from those of natural gas and other conventional oil & gas products. Development projects need to consider and mitigate the increased possibility of high explosion pressures or detonation if hydrogen releases accumulate in enclosed or congested areas. On the other hand, hydrogen’s buoyant properties can be exploited by locating potential leak points in the open to avoid gas accumulation, thereby reducing the explosion risk. The purpose of this paper is to introduce Equinor’s hydrogen-based value chain projects and present our approach to ensure safe and effective designs. Safety strategies constitute the basis for Equinor’s safety and risk management. The safety strategies describe the connection between the hazards and risk profiles on one hand and the safety barrier elements and their needed performance on the other, as input to safe design. The safety strategies also form the basis for safe operation. Measures to control the risk through practical designs follow from these strategies.

Funding source: The authors gratefully acknowledge the support from Canadian Nuclear Laboratories, under the auspices of the New Technology Initiatives Fund.
Related subjects: Safety
Countries: Norway

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