A diesel engine can begin to overspeed within 3 to 12 seconds of ingesting a hydrocarbon vapor. Learn how to prevent diesel engine runaway.
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Coil Tubing Units
Pick Up Trucks
Heavy Duty Trucks
Upstream Diesel Engine Safety
Diesel Engine Runaway
The unexpected danger in upstream oil & gas operations
Diesel engine runaway is the unexpected danger for companies involved in the exploration and drilling of petroleum products where the chance for a hydrocarbon release is high. This dangerous phenomenon called “runaway” has led to fatal accidents around the world, on both onshore and offshore sites.
Runaway occurs when a running diesel engine draws in hydrocarbon vapors from the surrounding air through the air intake system. The engine’s internal fuel governor attempts to limit the diesel injection to keep the engine under control, but as more vapors are ingested, the speed will increase beyond safe limits, often igniting the vapors.
Once runaway begins, turning off the ignition key won’t stop it. The only proven, reliable method to stop a runaway engine is to install an automatic air intake shut off system. These devices work by blocking the engine’s air supply and cutting off the external fuel source.
Upstream oil and gas companies rely on diesel engines to power the equipment used in every step of the process. As seen in the photo, diesel engines can be found on pickup trucks, generators, frac units, and many other pieces of equipment. When it comes to protecting people and equipment from diesel runaway, all diesel engines at the site should be accounted for. Even the smallest engines can become a source of ignition and cause serious damage.
Finding an air shut off system for every engine on site can be overwhelming, but AMOT makes it easy. A diverse product range is available to fit all engine sizes, makes, and models.
Some companies have taken steps to protect their employees from these types of accidents by initiating safety policies that require automatic air shut off systems. However, many companies still are unaware of this danger.
For over 45 years, AMOT has educated industry professionals about ways to protect equipment and employees by preventing engine runaway disasters—and we take this responsibility very seriously. We continue to invest in research and develop new products as engine technologies evolve.
We offer onsite training, consultations, and public presentations on international accident history and the lessons learned that have led to a variety of different safety standards. Contact us to schedule a presentation or talk to one of our safety advocates.