Improvements in surge protection eliminated rig downtime off W. Africa

Improvements in electric surge protection eliminated downtime and equipment failures from lightning storms on the Jade platform in Zafiro oil field off Equatorial Guinea. Jade is the largest fixed production-drilling platform off West Africa (Fig. 1). A unit of ExxonMobil Corp. operates the field.In 2000–01, the platform suffered instances of equipment downtime on platform controls, drives, and other equipment during or within 1-2 weeks after lightning storms. This problem is common for drilling rigs and oil platforms and is usually accepted as normal maintenance because these platforms sit 100 ft or more above the water and are, therefore, the best lightning rods for miles around. ...

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