A flare or vent stack is a piece of safety equipment typically used in oil and gas facilities. It helps to burn (or vent) off the unusable and flammable gas released during the processes and protects the facilities in the event of an emergency shutdown.
The Alberta Energy Regulator determines the standards for flare stack design and mandatory spacing requirements. Directive 060 for Upstream Petroleum Industry Flaring, Incinerating, and Venting contains the rules and regulations applicable for vent stacks.
Directive 060 Requirements for Flame Arresters
These standards have been developed with regard to the Clean Air Strategic Alliance (CASA). The main aim is to reduce and eliminate the potential impact of venting and to make sure that environmental concerns, including air quality and public safety matters, are adequately addressed. With regards to these objectives, it helps to consider the following:
- Can flaring and venting be reduced to the accepted levels?
- Can venting and flaring be eliminated?
- Will venting and flaring meet the required performance standards?
Flare Stack Design and Sizing Requirements
According to the Alberta Energy Regulator’s rules and regulations, the factors that influence the design, spacing, and size of the vent stacks are as follows:
- The location of the vent or flare stack within the facility
- The maximum volume of gas to be vented or flared
- The composition of the gas
- The type of gas to vent or flare, whether sweet or sour
- The amount of pressure drop created within the flare header and at the outlet of each pressure safety valve (PSV)
- The proximity of the vent or flare stack within the facility and to public dwellings or private buildings
In addition to these rules, Directive 060 also stipulates that a qualified technical professional who is a member of APEGA should examine and review the flare system. They must also check the related piping and controls and the specifications to ensure safe operation.
Common Flare Stack Design & Sizing Mistakes to Avoid
It is essential to put in the required effort when it comes to the design and sizing requirements of flare stacks as it can help you avoid costly mistakes. It helps to hire a professional for fabrication and modification projects and provide them with accurate information. Some of the common vent and flare stack design mistakes that you need to avoid are as follows:
- Underestimating the flare volumes
- Not considering the potential increase in the production of flammable gases in future
- Using outdated flare system drawings for design
- Inaccurate measurement of the flare header distances and spacing requirements
- Using incorrect gas composition
Contact Us for Flame Arrester and Vent Stacks
Aspire Energy Resources Inc. has over 25 years of experience in providing engineering, fabrication, and repair services to the energy industry. We have experts to understand your needs and come up with accurate solutions for flare and vent stacks design. We will ensure that the design and flare stack spacing requirements are as per Directive 060. We also have portable flare stacks for rent devised according to AER’s standards.
For more information, talk to one of our engineers by calling 403-314-5422 or 1-800-993-9958. We can help you design and create a new flare system or review your existing flare system to ensure it meets the criteria of the AER.