Consequence Analysis


Modeling the consequences of hazardous fluids releases is an integral part of any process hazard management program. For most applications within the oil, gas, and petrochemical industry the potential outcomes of a hazardous fluid release fall into categories:

  • flammable vapor cloud
  • toxic vapor cloud
  • torch (jet) fire
  • pool fire
  • BLEVE fireball
  • vapor cloud explosion

Each of these consequence analysis types can be computed using Quest’s CANARY software package, which was designed by Quest engineers and built around a multi-component thermodynamics package. From a list of over 250 components, process streams can be accurately simulated and used in the consequence calculations.

We begin our consequence analysis by calculating the rate of release of the fluid and its thermodynamic state after depressurization to the atmosphere. If the release begins as liquid, we determine the amount of material that falls to the ground or becomes vapor or aerosol. For vapor cloud hazards, we predict the dispersion of the released material in the atmosphere. If ignition of a flammable material is assumed to occur, the release model provides information to the fire radiation models in order to determine the thermal radiation impacts. A vapor cloud explosion (VCE) model can be used to determine the impact of overpressure, should a flammable vapor cloud be ignited.

In addition to CANARY, Quest engineers draw on a number of other consequence models for specific purposes. These include the use of public-domain consequence models (e.g., DEGADIS or LNGFIRE for LNG) or Computational Fluid Dynamics models to solve complex problems.