OT crude oil flammable

OT During the pirating stories, one of them said gunfire on an oil tanker could result in an explosion? Don't they only carry crude oil and is it flammable?
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Of course it's flammable. Haven't you ever seen photos of an oil rig fire?
And the vapors of any flammable liquid, in a confined area, can be explosive.
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mm wrote:

ever see the movie "the hellfighters". That is kind of a ridiculous question. Is crude oil flammable.....
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Steve Barker wrote:

Almost anything that's aerosolized will burn. I would guess that an oil well blow out will burn because the heavy oil is being turned into a mist because of the high pressure. If I understand correctly, there may also be natural gas mixed in with the oil. I can drop a lit match into a pail of kerosene and it won't burn but if I take that same kerosene and put it in a pump sprayer, I can light the spray and make a nice fireball.
TDD
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mm wrote:

Yes, crude oil and its vapors are explosive/flammable. It is, however, almost impossible for gunfire to ignite either. Unless, of course, you're paddling around in the hold.
Likewise, a bullet will not cause explosive decompression of an airliner - or bring down an airliner if fired from the ground, cause warts, or almost any other evil that the anti-gunner's imagination can concoct.
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mm wrote:

Yes. With flash point lower than 100 deg. F it is considered flammable by OSHA and DOT standards:
http://www.elpaso.com/msds/A0017-Crude%20Oil.pdf
I don't know but maybe the cargo is blanketed with inert gas like nitrogen and air is necessary for combustion. There must be numerous ignition sources on an oil tanker and I doubt they allow vapors to escape.
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Sometimes they are "flared off", or burned away from the rest of the load, as on oil platforms and at refineries where there is a big flame going 24/7. Although, now with all the tree and toad huggers, they may not flare as much as they used to. Vapors are very dangerous, and can build up pressures. I would think they would be exhausted, and not let to build up.
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Crude oil IS flammable, but you have to get it going. Like diesel. You can toss a burning piece of paper into a tank of diesel, and it won't light. It's the vapors that light. Everything has a temperature of ignition. Other things have IIRC, an explosive level, meaning that they produce enough aromatic vapors that even an electrostatic spark will ignite them. A lot of military shells especially, have tracers in them that have a high temperature, and certainly the rocket propelled greneades the pirates are fond of will cause a fire. Small arms gunfire is not LIKELY to cause an explosion, but there's a small chance. The larger the bullets, or when you get into explosives, YES, they are LIKELY to cause fire but then not always, either. Crude comes in all types, from thin to thick, and with all sorts of stuff mixed in there that is refined out. Most all of it will burn at one temperature or another.
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fire. Often they are used to put out well fires because the shockwave takes the oxygen out with it for a few seconds. It would be a random occurrence for an explosion or even phosphorous bullet or RPG to set off an explosion on an oil tanker. A shell or other projectile in the guts of the ship would likely cause a leak unless they hit the real small area where they might be vapors (they are kept FULL just to cut down on this problem). Higher up, enclosed area, and the vapors might be too concentrated to be set off.
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wrote:

RPGs ignite diesel tank fuel just fine. They have a molten jet of copper,very high temperature,and the steel splinters from the penetration are white hot.
Anyways,I believe they target their RPGs on the bridge and living quarters,they want to keep the cargo intact for ransom or sale.
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Jim Yanik
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Diesel fuel isn't the same a crude and tanks are not designed like oil tankers. But that is still dependent on where they penetrate. Again, too far down and there is all diesel and little vapors. Too high, same thing.

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FYI: Although some crudes are heavier than others, crude oil is a mix of all the petroleum products you can think of from naphtha to residual components. In this regard it usually has very significant quantities of "light ends" like naphtha (similar to lighter fluid). Because of these light ends it has a high vapor pressure and vaporizes very easily. This means that it is VERY combustible, more that gasoline, and far more dangerous that Diesel.
Crude from the Saudi area is called LIGHT Crude because of these high vapor pressure components. Other Crudes have somewhat lower vapor pressure, but they are still very combustible.
Your remarks are more appropriate for bunker or residual oil than they are for crude oil.
EJ in NJ
Pittman Pirate wrote:

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When I took some fire safety courses, years ago. We learned that flammable means flash point lower than 100F. Combustible is higher than 100F.
Diesel fuel is combustible.
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