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Oil and gas

American Refining Group – Flare Stack Repair

September 3, 2019

Challenge

American Refining was unable to monitor its pilot flame assembly due to an inoperable thermal couple on their flare. This causes a violation of US regulations (Title 40, part 60.18 A-F).

The company couldn’t monitor the flame with a remote optical sensor. It had new temperature thermal couplers but no way to install them while the flare was in service.

American Refining called Phoenix to discuss performing an online replacement of the old sensors with the new sensors.

Solution

After arriving on site, Phoenix conducted a work scope assessment, based on American Refining’s engineered plans, and a full risk assessment.

We implemented mitigation tools as follows:

  • Hard line communications
  • Throat mics to ear piece
  • A dedicated radio channel for workers, crane and EHS
  • Cooling vests on personnel
  • Lanyard to steel cable
  • Emergency services on standby stationed at crane location

 

We used an initial lift to investigate the flare tip and take thermal pictures. This established and confirmed the egress plan from the flare, the timing to move and the conditions for moving.

For safety, we established go-no-go conditions:

  • Wind direction
  • Wind velocity
  • Plant conditions
  • Gas levels
  • Weather forecast

 

American Refining provided Phoenix with a 40-ton crane and man-basket. Our team insulated all sides of the man-basket with a fire blanket and insulation. This included the man-basket cables to the crane-hoist cable hook and the hoist cable.

Before executing the client’s work scope, we held a toolbox topic and safety meeting and followed it with our field level hazard assessment. Once approved by all crew technicians, work began.

Our team removed flare ignition temperature sensors from either side of the flare stack by removing the faulty temperature sensor and wire from the flare tip ignition pilot. We then ran the new temperature sensors and wires alongside the flare in a metal conduit from the ground to the flare tip.

Results

This work scope lasted three days and was a success. The client was satisfied with our repair and was able to resume normal plant operations. This allowed the flare to resume its intended purpose bringing plant efficiency to its expected levels.

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