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Burner Management Basics


In the oil and gas industry, various applications including tanks, line heaters, and dehydrators, are used in the production and transportation of oil and gas. Whether it’s keeping oil at a specified temperature or separating oil and gas from wax, water, and other contaminants, heat is required. To provide that heat, a burner is used within the application.

Heat Costing more 
than Cash

With that basic understanding, it’s feasible to see why companies place such a priority on uptime and efficiency with their burners. To achieve this desired level of productivity, oil and gas companies have traditionally employed service teams to manually confirm if production equipment is functioning properly. This monotonous task demands significant time and manpower.

During these daily visits, burners are often found to be out.This commonality is the result of varying environmental conditions or malfunctioning equipment. To make matters worse, a failed flame is left unnoticed until the service team finds it. Although efficiency is immediately hindered, the human eye cannot initially see the most potentially dramatic defect.

The “rag-and-stick” method is put into action when a flame fail occurs. Flammable liquid is applied to a rag. That rag will then be placed at the end of a stick and then the rag will be ignited. Archaic in design and dangerous by simple logistics, the employee will open the light port on the application with the burning rag to get close enough to the pilot to light it. If this sounds dangerous, it’s because it is.

In the hypothetical, yet very common situation where a flame has been out for a couple hours—even a couple of days, the thought of taking an open flame to a tank full of gas is frightening. Though the “rag-and-stick” method has been used for years, there is a better, much safer way to ensure productivity. That way is by commissioning a burner management system.

The Better Way

Rather than require a service team to routinely check oilfield applications—demanding time, money and even potentially placing employees in harms way—a burner management system can monitor and manage an application from the comfort of an office, a vehicle, and anywhere else the Internet is available. With a burner management system in place, your team will be allowed to be more productive with their time. Applications will still achieve the desired productivity levels without the requirements of the antiquated “rag-and-stick” method.

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