Environment a priority in rig fleet's fire safety selection ///

For years the offshore drilling industry has used chemical and inert gases as well as water mist systems as extinguishants for fire protection. However, tightening environmental regulations are compelling companies to find alternative firefighting systems that address the workplace safety and environmental concerns associated with traditional clean agents. Drilling company GlobalSantaFe studied several potential replacements for its ozone-depleting halon fire-extinguisher systems. The company based its selection on safety, environmental impact, regulatory compliance and fire-fighting effectiveness. BACKGROUND The 1987 Montreal Protocol fueled the search for alternatives by mandating that the production and consumption of compounds that deplete the ozone, including halon, be phased out. Additionally, in 2000, the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union banned the use of virgin halon (EC Regulation 2037/2000), except for defined critical uses, including aircraft applications, military applications and specialized inerting applications.

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