It may be 80 degrees on the Gulf Coast today, but if 2021 has taught us anything it’s that dangerously cold weather can happen even here. Last year, a historic cold snap caused freezing temperatures and snow at our Southeast Texas headquarters, causing pipes to burst and necessitating costly repairs to our offices.
In the South, the winter damage took us completely by surprise. For our partners and clients in Northern states such as North Dakota, fierce winter weather is a fact of life. Precautions must be taken to ensure that bad winter weather doesn’t cause lengthy (and costly) downtime, no matter where your facilities are located.
Thanks to that lesson, our offices are now fully restored and better than ever! But as our longtime clients know, Aura Engineering has a history of helping transfer stations, storage terminals, and other businesses in the midstream sector prepare for inclement weather.
In our home state, the Texas Railroad Commission, which regulates the oil and gas industry, unanimously voted following the 2021 freeze to adopt rules breaking the state’s 131,000 natural gas producing leases into three categories. The strictest designation—dubbed “supercritical”—means that a facility won’t be allowed to opt out of coming winterization requirements. That label is expected to apply to an assortment of pipelines, processing plants, storage terminals and the 19,000+ leases that produce more than 23 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day.
If you aren’t sure if your business is now required to winterize by the state of Texas, contact us immediately. Our experienced team is ready to provide cost-effective winterization solutions that will keep regulators happy and your business running smoothly, no matter how cold it gets on the ground.
Some of the most common methods we use to winterize facilities include heat tracing and process heating. Both are used to achieve the same goal: protect equipment and processes from extreme temperatures. Heat tracing is used to maintain heat within a pipe, valve body, or other piece of equipment. Process heating is used to maintain a specific temperature, as well as drive heated processes, prevent condensation, provide boost heating in flow lines, and a variety of other applications.
One of the most cost-effective winterization services Aura provides is winterizing control panels. Most terminal control panels are rated for 40°F. Our team can quickly upgrade your existing control panels in place so that you can keep working at any temperature.
At many terminals and transfer facilities on the Gulf Coast, winterization is considered a low priority. As we’ve seen so recently, though, failure to properly prepare facilities for extreme winter weather can lead to catastrophic shutdowns. Winterization efforts are often inexpensive and easy to ignore, but when temperatures drop, they become critical in a hurry. Don’t get caught in a winter whiteout this year! Contact the experts at Aura today for assistance making your processes winter-proof.