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Oil pump catches fire after motor bearings failure

  • What happened?

    The motor bearings of a crude charge pump failed due to vibration in the driver. This caused the coupling to be thrown 30-40 feet (9-12 metres).

    The shaft then twisted to the point of failure and was ejected towards the cable tray.

    Intense vibration caused the piping downstream of the relief valve to shear.

    As a result of the bearings failure, the pump caught fire.

    Head pressure in the tank caused crude oil to be sprayed out of the pipe feeding the fire until the tank could be isolated.

    A failed and fire-damaged crude charge pump with water on the ground.
  • Why did it happen?

    • The motor bearing failed due to inadequate greasing.
    • The last 3 preventive maintenance sessions were not completed as scheduled for this pump.
    • No follow-up was arranged for missed maintenance sessions.
    • Preventive maintenance procedure was outdated and had been updated, but not implemented.
    • Procedures did not specify who is responsible for greasing the motors.
    Sheared piping
  • What did they learn?

    Ensure all preventative maintenance events are completed as scheduled.

    Should maintenance event be missed, ensure a follow-up is scheduled.

    Ensure preventive maintenance procedures are updated and implemented accordingly. Specify who is responsible for maintenance tasks.

    What learn - icon
  • Ask yourself or your crew

    Why do you think the preventive maintenance was missed 3 times and no follow-up was arranged?

    What equipment of ours is behind on maintenance? What should we do about it?

    Who is responsible for preventative maintenance tasks?

    What is your role in preventative maintenance?

    Ask your crew - icon
Published on 20/08/19 402 Views 2 likes

A crude charge pump caught fire when the motor bearing failed. Learn what course of events led to the incident.