Anytime flammable gas mixtures are handled, there is a risk of combustion hazard. This is particularly true in many oilfield applications where space is limited and equipment is located near sources of ignition. Unfortunately, there is a lack of understanding of combustion phenomena within process equipment such as mufflers, rotating blowout preventers, liquid traps, and dry gas seal assemblies. These vessels have small internal volumes, complex internal geometries, and are often connected using small diameter piping. This paper discusses the results of a parametric study which was carried out to establish the nature of combustion within small diameter vessels and exhaust tubing. Flowing, pre-mixed fuel/air mixtures were used. This study has been conducted using a testing system capable of emulating real process equipment under realistic field operating conditions, for example, flow rates, back pressures, and fuel type. The results from a representative sample of 79 tests, from the 5,000+ tests that have been completed, are discussed herein. Typical pressure and temperature responses are presented and analysed. In addition, methods of detecting the presence of combustion are discussed. In particular, it is demonstrated that flames can be remotely detected and located using only high speed pressure data.

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