You are on page 1of 15

PRINTED COPY NOT CONTROLLED

PRINTED COPY NOT CONTROLLED


Page 2 of 15

KUWAIT NATIONAL PETROLEUM COMPANY

SAFE WORK PRACTICES


ON
LINE BREAKING

TABLE OF CONTENTS

# Page
1.0 INTRODUCTION 3
2.0 SCOPE 3
3.0 REFERENCES 3
4.0 DEFINITIONS 4
5.0 STANDARDS/GUIDELINES 6
5.1 NEW PROJECTS AND MODIFICATIONS TO EXISTING 6
SYSTEMS

5.2 TRAINING 7
5.3 JOB PLANNING 7
5.4 SYSTEM PREPARATION 8
5.5 LOCKOUT/ISOLATION 8
5.6 JOB EXECUTION 9
6.0 HAZARDS ON WORKING ON FLARE LINES 12
6.1 SOURCE OF AIR 12
6.2 PRECAUTIONS 13
6.3 ADDITIONAL INFORMATION 14
7.0 INCIDENT INVESTIGATION 14
8.0 MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS 14
8.1 DOCUMENT CONTROL 14
8.2 AUDIT REQUIREMENTS 14
8.3 DOCUMENT RENEWAL PROCESS 15
8.4 DEVIATION PROCESS 15

Reference: SHE-TSSA-07-2026 ( Rev 0) Title: SWP on Line Breaking


Date of Issue: June 2007
PRINTED COPY NOT CONTROLLED
Page 3 of 15

KUWAIT NATIONAL PETROLEUM COMPANY

1.0 INTRODUCTION
Spreading of flange joints, disconnecting unions and removing spool pieces or
bends in process and utility lines are required during most maintenance activities
and tie-in related to project activities. Accidents have occurred due to negligence of
safety aspects during such jobs. All parties involved in such jobs shall ensure
appropriate precautions.
2.0 SCOPE
To provide the minimum provisions for planning and executing all line breaks and
to specify the line break considerations to be addressed at an early stage in the
design process of new and modified equipment.
Mandatory rules are characterized by the word “SHALL” throughout the text.
Advisory rules or recommendations are indicated by the word “SHOULD”. The
words shall and should have been used to remain in line with the terminology used
by the American National Standards Institute.
Various designations mentioned in the document are refinery based. Equivalent
designations shall be applicable for other locations/ sites.

3.0 REFERENCES
− KPC HSE Document No. 24; Line Break Procedure
− Maintenance Work Practices; Lock-Out/Tag-Out KNPC-SMM-1-PRC-
0403.
− Maintenance Work Practices; Zero Energy Test KNPC-SMM-1-PRC-0404
− Procedure for Multi-Lock System in Refineries MAA-ELAC-03-1330
− PPE Program SHE-TSOH-04-1315.
− KNPC Design Engineering Practices
− SWP on Work Permit & Risk Assessment SHE-TSSA-06-2029
− SWP on Plant Operations SHE-TSSA-05-2002
− SWP on Confined Space Entry SHE-TSSA-04-SP-2007

Reference: SHE-TSSA-07-2026 ( Rev 0) Title: SWP on Line Breaking


Date of Issue: June 2007
PRINTED COPY NOT CONTROLLED
Page 4 of 15

KUWAIT NATIONAL PETROLEUM COMPANY

4.0 DEFINITIONS
4.1 Cleared—all lines and equipment associated with a system are verified by
standard practices to have been positively isolated and, where appropriate,
drained, flushed, and/or purged of hazardous material, and made ready for
hotwork as applicable and the following criteria are met:
− The system’s temperature is lower than 140°F (60°C) and higher
than 14°F (-10°C).
− Atmospheric pressure has been attained.
− Hazards associated with toxicity, corrosiveness, flammability of
gases, vapors, or mists, and/or airborne combustible dust are
reduced to acceptable levels, that is meeting normal operating
conditions.
4.2 Controlled bleed—a valved opening (bleed) located between two block
valves. The bleed consists of an open block valve and terminates with an
open end or pressure gauge. The bleed serves as an indicator of the
integrity of the upstream block valve. Selection and positioning of the bleed
termination point are dependent on the hazards associated with the
process material and local conditions at the time of the line break.
4.3 Double isolation—double block valve and controlled bleed (i.e., block
valve/controlled bleed/block valve) or block valve and blank/blind flange.
4.4 Engineered process plug—a means of isolating process flow by
solidifying a portion of the process in a pipeline in a controlled, pre-
designed, and approved manner.
4.5 Front-end loading—design activities before final design and approval
executed to uncover possible hidden problems and expense.
4.6 Hazardous process or system—a process or system that contains any
material at any pressure that could cause an injury to an individual(s), a
possibility of fire or explosion, an environmental hazard, or an off-site
hazard. Examples of hazardous processes or systems include, but are not
limited to, compressed fluids, especially gases in pipes and vessels;
corrosive and/or flammable substances; and other lines that could contain

Reference: SHE-TSSA-07-2026 ( Rev 0) Title: SWP on Line Breaking


Date of Issue: June 2007
PRINTED COPY NOT CONTROLLED
Page 5 of 15

KUWAIT NATIONAL PETROLEUM COMPANY

material that is hazardous on contact or inhalation, including fluid whose


temperature is higher than 140°F (60°C) or lower than 14°F (-10°C).
4.7 Isolation—Complete obstruction and elimination of flow to system
(piping or equipment) ensuring full protection against the release of fluid
to the system by means such as blinding, removal of section of piping
(along with blinding the live end), double block and bleed system, manually
valved and/or blanked or blind flanged etc to completely isolate the line or
equipment from the process material and documented such isolation by
blind lists and locations clearly identified by tags.
4.8 Line break—opening cleared or uncleared lines or equipment that has
contained any fluid at a volume, pressure or temperature capable of
causing injury or damage to property by actions that may include, but are
not limited to, the following:
− Breaking flanges
− Removing one or more bolts from flanges
− Removing valve bonnets and non-return (i.e., check) valves
− Turning spectacle plates (i.e., blanks)
− Breaking pipe joints
− Removing slip plates (i.e., blanks), instrument orifice plates, blind
flanges, plugs, and caps
− Disconnecting tubing
− Disconnecting loading and unloading process hoses
− Penetrating a line by mechanical or other means
− Opening inspection ports
− Making subtle adjustments (e.g., replacing packing on a valve)
4.9 PPE—Personal Protective Equipment.
4.10 Qualified personnel—those who by extensive knowledge, training, and
experience have successfully demonstrated their ability to solve or resolve
problems related to line breaks in accordance with this document.

Reference: SHE-TSSA-07-2026 ( Rev 0) Title: SWP on Line Breaking


Date of Issue: June 2007
PRINTED COPY NOT CONTROLLED
Page 6 of 15

KUWAIT NATIONAL PETROLEUM COMPANY

5.0 STANDARDS/ GUIDELINES


5.1 NEW PROJECTS AND MODIFICATIONS TO EXISTING SYSTEMS
Operations Dept.,/ Process Engg. Division shall work with Asset Custodian
Dept/ Division during the design and engineering stages of a project so that
line break issues are considered in both new projects and modifications to
existing systems. Systems shall be designed and built to enable isolation
and clearing of the hazard. The following points shall be considered:
1. Isolation and clearing shall be primary considerations during project
front-end loading activity.
− The design shall consider the balance between added potential
leak points (catastrophic and fugitive) vs. the benefit of providing
additional connections for flushing and clearing access to systems
and equipment.
− The design shall include the ability to isolate secondary energy
sources for polymer and melt systems where the material is
“frozen” (i.e., solidified) to eliminate the hazard.
− All systems shall be designed with the ability to isolate secondary
energy sources. Examples of secondary energy sources include
steam and electric tracing and jacketed vessels and pipe.
2. Experienced field operators and mechanics shall be involved in the
front-end loading efforts.
3. The design team shall consider the following hierarchy for isolating
hazardous processes. The decision should be based on the level of
protection to people and environment vs. additional hazards
introduced as the result of adding additional valves.
a. Double block valve and controlled bleed
b. Block valve and blank/blind flange
c. Double block valves
d. Single block valve
e. Engineered process plug (i.e., solidifying the process)
If neither double block valve and controlled bleed or block valve and
blank/blind flange isolation is feasible, then appropriate safeguards

Reference: SHE-TSSA-07-2026 ( Rev 0) Title: SWP on Line Breaking


Date of Issue: June 2007
PRINTED COPY NOT CONTROLLED
Page 7 of 15

KUWAIT NATIONAL PETROLEUM COMPANY

(for example regular testing of single valves) shall be provided,


documented, and included as a part of the Hazop study.
5.2 TRAINING
Team Leader of the Executing Dept shall ensure that qualified personnel
perform all work on hazardous processes or systems, including planning and
execution. Team Leaders of Executing and Asset Custodian Departments shall
also ensure that training is provided to persons involved on line break
procedures. The topic shall be included in the SHE training program at SHE
Training Center.
Key elements for determining personnel qualifications are listed below:
1. Initial training shall be provided for
− Operating personnel, including supervisors.
− Maintenance and construction personnel, including supervisors.
− Contractors and contract administrators.
− Planners/schedulers.
− Personnel who issue line break permits.
2. Refresher Training shall be provided every 3 years.
3. Training shall be documented.
4. There should be a system to check that the training had been
effective.
5.3 JOB PLANNING
1. A written Risk Assessment that specifically addresses safety,
health, and environmental issues shall be prepared and
implemented for all line breaks on hazardous processes and
systems. This shall be as per document: SHE-TSSA-06-2029 SWP
Work Permit & Risk Assessment.
2. A line break permit shall be issued and precautions as per the Risk
Assessment shall be mentioned in the Permit.
3. Personnel performing the work shall be made aware of the safety,
health, and environmental requirements. The Issuer and Executor
shall ensure that the plan details are communicated to all the

Reference: SHE-TSSA-07-2026 ( Rev 0) Title: SWP on Line Breaking


Date of Issue: June 2007
PRINTED COPY NOT CONTROLLED
Page 8 of 15

KUWAIT NATIONAL PETROLEUM COMPANY

personnel involved. These details include lockout points, flushing


and clearing, and standby person responsibilities.
4. Team Leaders of the Custodian and Executing Dept shall ensure
that a process is in place to do the following:
a. Periodically review the Risk Assessment for inclusion of all
mandatory requirements of this document.
b. Document the line break training and periodic retraining of the
people performing the routine line break jobs
5.4 SYSTEM PREPARATION
The system must be properly prepared before line breaks are made on any
system. Key elements for proper system preparation include establishing and
verifying acceptable levels of cleanliness, elimination and verification of
chemical hazards. The clearing and draining of pipelines and equipment must
follow approved waste management procedures to protect the environment.
5.5 LOCKOUT / ISOLATION
All systems prepared for line breaks shall be properly isolated.

The following documents shall serve as a guideline in this regard

- Maintenance Work Practices; Lock-Out/Tag-Out KNPC-SMM-1-PRC-0403.


- Maintenance Work Practices; Zero Energy Test KNPC-SMM-1-PRC-0404
- Procedure for Multi-Lock System in Refineries MAA-ELAC-03-1330
- KNPC Blinding Deblinding Procedure
The following points shall be considered in isolation:
1. Tagging procedure: Systematic tagging of blinds used for positive
isolation of lines and equipment. Blanks and blind flanges shall be
tagged as described in the above document.
2. The bleed (drain/ vent) valve (for block & bleed) for the isolated system
shall be maintained in the open position and the line cleared to prevent
trapping process material in the line/equipment.
3. The specific steps for isolating all primary and secondary (e.g., steam
tracing, electric tracing, cathodic protection etc) energy sources shall be
identified.

Reference: SHE-TSSA-07-2026 ( Rev 0) Title: SWP on Line Breaking


Date of Issue: June 2007
PRINTED COPY NOT CONTROLLED
Page 9 of 15

KUWAIT NATIONAL PETROLEUM COMPANY

This is especially important in polymer and melt systems that are


“frozen” (i.e., solidified) to isolate them and for acids that can vaporize if
cooled and then reheated.
4. Various means of isolating systems or equipment that contain hazards
can be used. A listing, from the most protective to the least protective, is
given under 5.1 (3).
Examples of manual valves used for isolation are gate valves, plug
valves, and ball valves. The use of control valves for isolation is not
allowed.
5. The degree of isolation depends on the hazards of the material being
isolated, the surrounding area (including its electrical classification), the
configuration of the piping system, the frequency of the line break, the
added chance of leaks from additional isolation valves, and the
experience gained from past line breaks.
6. Where work on hazardous systems is to be performed behind a single
blocking valve, the line break permit or procedure shall indicate how the
hazard is to be mitigated, including worst-case scenarios and
contingency plans.
5.6 JOB EXECUTION
The first break does not always verify that the system or equipment is free of
hazard. Experience has shown that incidents still occur after the first break is
completed. These incidents have a variety of causes, including trapped pockets
of pressure or hazardous process material, not isolating all sources of pressure
or hazardous process material, or not draining the low point and venting the
high point.
The following documents shall be referred for further guidance.
- SWP on Work Permit System and Risk Assessment;SHE-TSSA-06-2029
- SWP on Confined Space Entry:SHE-STSA-04-SP-2007
- SWP on Plant Operations: SHE-TSSA-05-2002 Rev 1 (Sec 8: Safe Operating
Practices)
1. Permit issuer shall ensure that the system is properly prepared before
any line breaks are made. If clearing cannot be accomplished as

Reference: SHE-TSSA-07-2026 ( Rev 0) Title: SWP on Line Breaking


Date of Issue: June 2007
PRINTED COPY NOT CONTROLLED
Page 10 of 15

KUWAIT NATIONAL PETROLEUM COMPANY

expected, the job shall be stopped and the following steps shall be
performed: re-plan, document, authorize, and communicate.
2. Maintenance personnel should never break a line without obtaining a
work permit from the Operations Supervisor. The work should proceed
only after Operations has clearly identified the flanges that are to be
opened.
3. Presence of permit issuer is essential at the work site during the
commencement of line break and also during lining up after completion
of job.
4. All parties involved in the line breaking shall be made aware of the
status of the equipment and the hazards involved.
5. Proper protective clothing and equipment are worn if toxic, corrosive or
other harmful substances could be present.
6. Lines and equipment are drained or depressurized of all possible
contents of flammable, corrosive liquid and toxic contents or
asphyxiating gas before opening.
7. Operations supervisor assures to the Maintenance personnel that
there are no naked lights, fires or other sources of ignition within 15m
radius, especially downwind of the line of the equipment to be opened.
Hot work Permits shall not be issued within this radius.
8. Ensure that both sides of the flange are properly supported/anchored
to avoid falling or spring action.
9. Workers should remain upwind, loosen the bolts without fully removing
them and spread the joint slightly to check that it has no pressure.
10. The area shall be barricaded to warn people not involved in the line
break of any unexpected release of hazardous material.
11. The location shall be monitored continuously for presence of toxic or
flammable gases if required by the permit. Necessary monitoring
equipment shall be available at site.
12. Note the location of safety shower before commencing work on
chemical lines.

Reference: SHE-TSSA-07-2026 ( Rev 0) Title: SWP on Line Breaking


Date of Issue: June 2007
PRINTED COPY NOT CONTROLLED
Page 11 of 15

KUWAIT NATIONAL PETROLEUM COMPANY

13. The joint shall be opened very slowly to ensure that there is no hold-up
of gas or liquid and that block valves are holding.
14. Slacken the bolts farthest away from the person first. Do not remove
the last bolt until inserting a wedge at far end to remove any remaining
content. Work above the flange and not below.
15. Precautions are taken to contain the leftover material/sludge and
minimize spillage. (providing drip tray, diking, etc)
16. Waste management guidelines issued by Environment Division shall
be followed in the handling and disposal of waste.
17. If it appears that the line is under pressure, the joint should be closed
immediately and reopened only under the direction of Operations
supervisor after corrective action has been taken. In such cases the
job plan shall be reviewed. The Risk Assessment will have to be
reviewed again before proceeding further in such cases.
18. Use non-sparking tools when working on hydrogen, ethylene,
acetylene and carbon disulphide lines.
19. Lines or vessels shall be considered full or hazardous until proven safe
for work
20. When work spans over two shifts the next shift people shall be made
aware of the ongoing job.
21. Steam Lines: It is possible that there could be presence of
hydrocarbons in steam lines. This occurs when process units are
subjected to emergency shutdowns including the steam system. This
could create vacuum conditions in the steam line sucking in
hydrocarbons. It is therefore advisable to conduct gas tests during
blinding/ deblinding of steam lines also.
22. Other Utility Lines: (Plant Air, Instrument Air, Nitrogen line, Water
lines including Sea Water). All utility lines shall be considered as
hydrocarbon contaminated. Gas tests shall be conducted during
spreading of the flange and precautions & procedures determined
accordingly.

Reference: SHE-TSSA-07-2026 ( Rev 0) Title: SWP on Line Breaking


Date of Issue: June 2007
PRINTED COPY NOT CONTROLLED
Page 12 of 15

KUWAIT NATIONAL PETROLEUM COMPANY

23. Modified Blinds: Large volatile hydrocarbon lines with passing valves
shall be blinded with modified blinds which have a
draining/depressurising connection especially when the system is
under pressure beyond the isolation valve. Content between valve and
the blind shall be emptied before deblinding.
24. Double Block & Bleed: Some high pressure or hazardous content
lines are provided with two block valves separated by a spool piece
that has a bleed connection vented to a safe location. Any passing
material will be vented instead of reaching the danger end.
25. Unions: Inserting a disc between union faces is not considered as
positive isolation. Union shall be disconnected and capped/plugged at
the danger end.
26. Blinds that were in position for a long time should be removed and
inspected before being used as positive isolation.
27. When taking into service, the system shall be checked at full operating
conditions, for example hot bolting where required.

6.0 HAZARDS OF WORKING ON FLARE LINES


Work on flare lines is far more susceptible to mishaps than are most other plant
piping arrangements. Hazards associated with such work and means of carrying
out the work safely are mentioned below
6.1 SOURCE OF AIR:
Keeping air out of a flare system is of paramount importance. Air is most
likely to find its way into a flare system in one of the following ways:
1. Through open vents, drains or other connections
2. When flare lines are opened for maintenance or other system repair
3. While venting equipment (for example during start-up) into the flare
system
4. By the rapid condensation of hot vapour inducing a vacuum and
pulling air back into the system through the flare stack and seal.
5. Air is most likely to enter when a section of the system is to be gas
freed to permit 'hot work' on lines or equipment in preparation for

Reference: SHE-TSSA-07-2026 ( Rev 0) Title: SWP on Line Breaking


Date of Issue: June 2007
PRINTED COPY NOT CONTROLLED
Page 13 of 15

KUWAIT NATIONAL PETROLEUM COMPANY

entering system vessels or in connection with work on the flare and


its auxiliaries. A combustible mixture can reach the flare during
blinding or gas freeing of lines.
6.2 PRECAUTIONS
Flare lines should be purged with steam or inert gas before connected
equipment or lines are opened (i.e. before permitting entry of air).
Purging is especially important as flare streams contain H2S or
pyrophoric iron sulfide deposits providing an ignition source when air is
admitted.
The procedures given below shall be followed during shutdown and
maintenance activities:-
1. Shutdown all units serviced by the flare system before the flare is
taken out of service or else line up standby flare system if available.
2. Replace sweep gas with purge gas and continue until all system
bleeders test as safe.
3. Ensure that purge gas gets into all laterals in a complex flare
system, not just to the main collection header.
4. Extinguish flare pilot.
5. Blind all flare header inlets from the units as per the blind list and
notify all concerned personnel of the system's status.
6. All personnel during blinding/deblinding jobs shall wear airline
masks or SCBA and fire retardant clothing.
7. Purge gas shall be maintained at all times during the blinding
operation.
8. All mobile equipment shall be located upwind wherever possible.
9. Proper access facilities and work platforms shall be provided. More
than one ladder shall be provided to work platform as a means of
emergency escape.
10. Water spray systems and other fire protection shall be available at
location. A continuous water curtain shall be provided between
work area and adjacent operating refinery units.
11. All connected unit personnel are alerted before the start of the job.

Reference: SHE-TSSA-07-2026 ( Rev 0) Title: SWP on Line Breaking


Date of Issue: June 2007
PRINTED COPY NOT CONTROLLED
Page 14 of 15

KUWAIT NATIONAL PETROLEUM COMPANY

12. All material are available on site before work starts.


13. Sufficient bolts shall remain while a gradual opening is made by the
use of a flange spreader.
14. Once work has begun, continue without stopping until the job is
completed.
6.3 ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
1. Even with pilots extinguished and no pyrophoric material present, auto-
ignition still can occur so long as oxygen is present.
2. Hydrogen and hydrogen sulfide are especially hazardous due to their
broad flammability limits in air 4-74% and 4-45% respectively.
3. Lines from knockout drums to flare stacks and the flare stacks
themselves should drain back by gravity to the knockout drum.
4. While water washing of flare lines and KOD, hydrogen sulfide and
ammonium salts are released. It is possible that units and facilities get
contaminated with hydrogen sulfide as this wash water is carried en-
route to Waste Water Treatment facilities.

7.0 INCIDENT INVESTIGATION


All line break incidents shall be investigated according to KNPC Incident
Investigation Procedure.

8.0 MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS


8.1 DOCUMENT CONTROL
Records shall be retained in compliance with the KNPC Document Control
Programme. The contact for this document is the KNPC SH&E Department.
8.2 AUDIT REQUIREMENTS
Compliance with this document shall be audited as part of SHEMS audit
program.
8.3 DOCUMENT RENEWAL PROCESS
This document shall be reviewed and revised by KNPC SHE Dept as
necessary and, at a minimum, not later than three years from the date of the
last revision.

Reference: SHE-TSSA-07-2026 ( Rev 0) Title: SWP on Line Breaking


Date of Issue: June 2007
PRINTED COPY NOT CONTROLLED
Page 15 of 15

KUWAIT NATIONAL PETROLEUM COMPANY

8.4 DEVIATION PROCESS


Deviations from this document shall be authorised by the Manager SH&E.
Deviations shall be documented, and documentation shall include the
relevant facts supporting the deviation decision. Deviation authorization shall
be renewed periodically and no less frequently than every three years.

Reference: SHE-TSSA-07-2026 ( Rev 0) Title: SWP on Line Breaking


Date of Issue: June 2007