Flare Line Cleaned Without Water Jetting in Turkey

Inert gas power solves fire risk at Turkish oil refinery

Tube Techs innovative use of nitrogen gas as motive power during a pipeline cleaning operation was called upon for an unusual contract at an oil refinery Turkey’s Mediterranean coast.

  • As part of the complete demolition of the site an oil refinery flare was due for dismantling but it contained pyrophoric deposits which spontaneously ignite upon exposure to air.
  • Tube Tech's previously successful experiences with pyrophoric deposits at a United Kingdom refinery meant the company had the expertise needed to enable demolition to take place without fire risk.
  • The conventional approach would have been time consuming and expensive.
  • With the outmoded method demolition teams using cold cutting techniques would have had to use a nitrogen blanket to minimise ignition risks.
  • Tube Tech utilised its proven drifTT technique to create a safe environment for the demolition contractor to use standard non-cold cutting equipment.
  • Tube Tech had previously successfully proved a system in which an inert substance is used as the motive power for the drifTT to cut through the volatile deposits.
  • Normally a liquid is used as the motive force but the flare line supports are generally designed to carry only gas. This made water, weighing one tonne per metre of flare line out of the question so the Tube Tech team used nitrogen gas as the inert medium.
  • The Tube Tech operation was a complete success and the deposits were removed without a hitch, leaving a safe working environment for the demolition crews.
  • The demolition work was able to continue on schedule.

Scott Donson, Technical Sales Manager: “The methods we used had previously been successfully adopted on a contract in the UK so we knew it was a proven technique. As with all gases, as soon as you introduce pressure it becomes very elastic so control has to be from both ends of the pipe to prevent the drift running away at speed.”

The Tank Maintenance & Contract Co-ordinating Group Supervisor said: “The work was completed by Tube Tech on time and without disruption to our operations. It was a very successful operation and we were pleased with the standard of work by the Tube Tech team.”

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