Ferndale Refinery Receives an Upgrade

​Our Ferndale Refinery, located on Puget Sound in Washington, recently installed a 199-foot flare system, which is nearly 140 feet taller than its predecessor. The greater elevation increases the designated margin of safety for refinery workers, who can now conduct operations closer to the flare without the potential for adverse exposure.

Environmental accountability

Flares safely burn excess hydrocarbon gases that cannot be preserved or recycled. The system upgrade at Ferndale incorporates steam into the combustion process, promoting a cleaner burn of excess hydrocarbons and doubling the overall smokeless capacity.

"State-of-the-art monitoring technology closely measures and constantly adjusts the steam rates in real time, achieving peak combustion efficiency," says Dan Kier, technical manager at the refinery. "While there may still be some smoke associated with a heavy flaring event – such as a loss of power to the refinery – the new flare can handle twice the amount of gas as the former system without smoking."

Community awareness

As part of an awareness campaign, the refinery sent postcards to nearby residents to inform them about the upgrade and explain why the refinery occasionally flares. Although more visible during occasional flaring, the new system is safer, more efficient, better for the environment and an expression of our company’s commitment to safety and sustainability.