Research shows that over 82 million barrels of oil are produced globally each calendar day. That’s hundreds of billions of dollars worth of product that must be stored, commonly in floating roof tanks, and are waiting to be shipped. Although safety is a huge priority in the oil and gas industry, the risk of lightning is often overlooked. The oil and gas industry is one of the most vulnerable industries when it comes to lightning related risks, and can be extremely costly for those facilities that do nothing to protect against the powerful natural phenomena.
As global warming progresses, the threat of lightning is expected to increase in areas that become warmer and drier. In a study conducted by the Association of British Insurers in 2007, they predict a potential increase of 50% in lightning strikes by 2050. With that comes and increase of associated risks in the oil and gas industry. One lightning strike can cost a company anywhere from $500,000 to more 40 million dollars depending on the size and type of facility. While the cost of a lightning strike can be prohibitive, protection costs a mere fraction of that. It doesn’t matter what part of the world you are in or how often lightning events happen in your area, it only takes one strike to destroy precious product.