Shell Albian Sands Flare Stack – Custom Engineered Solution

Shell Albian Sands Flare Stack

The Client

Shell has been active in Canada since 1911 and is now one of the country’s largest integrated oil and gas companies. Headquartered in Calgary, Alberta, Shell Canada employs more than 8,000 people across Canada. Shell came to Saskarc with a unique challenge requiring a custom engineered solution.

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The Challenge

Shell Canada required a massive 306’ x 8” 8” diameter flare stack with a 4’ diameter internal riser to be fabricated, tested and shipped with brackets and piping pre-installed so it could be easily erected at their Albian Oil Sands facility in Fort McMurray, Alberta. once completed the stack weighed over 245 tons.

In addition to the structure’s huge size and weight, other challenges included:

  • Shop installing utility piping, test fit access steel, and ship to site in four – 90’ sections.
  • Design and build articulating fixtures for the Submerged Arc welding machine so the circular C.P. shell welds could be performed by the S.A.W and Flux Core automated tracking machines.
  • All welding had to be done at 12 o’clock so the platforms and supports had to be constructed to mount at the top of the stack and the top of the internal riser respectively. The welding machine set-up had to be aligned and adjusted to track evenly.
  • The 42” riser had to be inserted into the stack and supported dead centre of the outer stack. Conventional liftingdevices like overhead cranes or conventional forklifts could not be utilized. We designed and built a moving dolly system to insert the riser into the outer stack.
  • The contract required that all the access steel, pressure piping and attachment brackets be shop test fitted.

The Solution

  • A new W.P.D.S. welding procedures for the Submerged Arc welding process was created. All the outer shell welds and the internal riser shell welds required 100% complete penetration and R.T. inspection was required on 100% of all T-Joints and 10% random R.T. on all other circular and long seams.
  • Design and build articulating fixtures for the Submerged Arc twelding machine so the circular C.P. shell welds could be performed by the S.A.W and Flux Core automated tracking machines.
  • Working with a P.Eng it was determined custom shipping saddles were required. These were manufactured by Saskarc.
  • We worked with Mammoet to come up with a trailer arrangement and route survey. The long stack sections were self supporting so it was decided to ship with the steering dolly on the rear end.

The Results

The custom engineered flare stack was delivered without incident. In total the project required 8500 hours of design and fabrication time. The stack is still in use and Shell has been able to burn off waste and excess gas by-product safely.

Shell-Albian-Sands-Flare-Stack-–-Custom-Engineered-Solution