Lightning Protection and Grounding for Oil and Gas

Lightning is one of the most beautiful creations of nature to behold. No two lighting bolts are the same, and a lightning storm can light up the sky prettier than you can light up your Christmas tree. The zigs and the zags have no pattern, and the haphazard lines are mesmerizing to watch.

Yet, lightning can also be one of the most devastating acts of nature. When lightning strikes trees, the overwhelming energy and heat can set them on fire, which then can destroy millions of acres if the fire spreads in a forest. It can strike buildings and set them on fire, which then can jump from building to building, destroying them as well. In 1769, lightning struck a church in Brescia, Italy, where 207,000 pounds of gunpowder was being stored. The result — 3,000 people died and a sixth of the city was destroyed. Lightning strikes remain a viable threat in today’s world, including a threat to the oil and gas industry.

Benchmark Electrical Solutions offers the best electrical contracting services, including for various oil and gas projects, food and beverage plants, greenhouses, pharmaceutical facilities, synthetic gas plants, gasification skids, medical facilities, clean rooms and semiconductors plants. We are 100% customer focused, with an emphasis on quality, safety, health, and environmentally-friendly practices. Below, we’ll go over lightning protection for oil and gas. Contact us today for your next electrical project management solution!



Similar to the aforementioned blowup of gunpowder, a lightning strike to an oil tank can be devastating not only for the oil field workers on the ground, but for anyone nearby. Lightning can cause not only explosions, but also damage to electrical equipment, oil pads and oil wells, and other components on an oil field job site, including oil field trucks. It’s imperative that your oil and gas company have a top-notch lighting protection and grounding system in place. Benchmark Electrical Solutions offers amazing lightning protection for oil and gas in Northern Colorado. Contact us today for details!


History Of Lightning Protection

If you asked someone on the street about lightning protection, odds are, they’d tell you about Benjamin Franklin and his famous lightning experiment. Determined to prove that lightning was electricity, he flew a kite in the sky with a metal key attached. The result: he definitely proved it alright and barely survived. He was the first known storm-chaser, hopping on horseback to follow thunderstorms to study them. He also wanted to protect people and buildings from fires, which led to his invention of the lightning rod. The idea is this: if you put a metal rod on the highest point of a building, the lightning will strike it. This lightning rod will be attached to a metal wire. The lightning will travel along the wire and to the ground, harmlessly dissipating its energy. These early lightning rods were quite effective at preventing fires in buildings.

Lightning protection systems of today work largely in the same way, just a bit more sophisticated. Instead of a sharp point that Franklin’s lightning rods featured, most are blunt tipped. Radial conductors are much more effective at distributing the lighting in the ground as well.



With the standard lightning protection described above, the majority of the lightning’s energy will be dissipated to the ground. However, with today’s sophisticated electronics on oil and gas rigs and equipment, they are still vulnerable to lightning’s secondary effects. Control panels, low voltage instruments, and other electronics are still at risk for damage. In fact, depending on how the grounding was set up, your oil and gas instruments and rigs could be at greater risk if the grounding is not adequate. Flashover or sparking can occur at nearby components, and you’ll want to ensure the grounding is adequately away from any flammable or explosive materials.

Benchmark Electrical Solutions in Northern Colorado offers consulting and implementation on lightning protection for your oil and gas company. We specialize in lightning protection, surge protection, and grounding to protect your oil and gas equipment from damage. Our lightning protection will help to ensure the reduction of static electrical charge buildup and ground charges, as well as mitigate an upward streamer to help prevent lightning strikes in the first place.

When you partner with us for your lightning protection needs, we’ll come out to your location, conduct an analysis, and then implement a solution. We’ll test our lightning protection system and maintain it afterwards. This includes making changes if need be. Benchmark Electrical Systems aims to ensure your oil and gas wells and pads are protected.



In the state of Colorado, approximately 494,000 cloud to ground lightning strikes occur in Colorado every year, putting Colorado 26th in the nation for lightning strikes. A lightning bolt is five times hotter than the surface of the sun. With this kind of power, it’s crucial your oil and gas equipment is protected.

Benchmark Electrical Solutions offers the best lightning protection for oil and gas and well pads in Northern Colorado. In addition to lightning protection, we also offer many other electrical contracting services, such as well pad electrification, flow meter assistance, pump stations, and compressor station services. We can help you with all of your oil and gas company’s electrical contracting needs.

Safety is of utmost concern with Benchmark Electrical Solutions. While it is true when lightning strikes sand it forms silica glass, when lightning strikes other objects, such as buildings, gas wells, and even people, the sight is anything but beautiful. Training is on-going, with monthly training, as well as daily briefings to discuss safety related to the specific job at-hand. Personal protection equipment is issued with regards to the individual job and job specific emergency response plans are discussed. Safety is part of our culture, and all employees are trained to be aware of hazards while on the job.

If you are in need of construction planning and management, as well as industrial and commercial electrical project management, give us a call today to get started!