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Written by Bill Albrecht

Burstall Weather

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Gas, Sandhills and Wheatfields - 75th Anniversary Sculpture


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The town of Burstall is located in the heart of the 'gas patch' on highway 321 close to the Alberta border. It is one hour to Medicine Hat Alberta, four and one half hours to Regina, and three and one half hours to Saskatoon. The South Saskatchewan river is 15 minutes to the west. Five large gas plants are located within 10 minutes of town

The Sandhills are just five minutes north of town and are home to a great many wildlife species. The Burstall area is blessed with an abundance of wildlide including the Richardson Ground Squirrel, Prairie Rattlesnake, White Tail and Mule Deer, Moose, Sharp-Tailed Grouse, Horned Owls, Prairie Coyotes, Antelope, Cedar Waxwings, Canada Geese and a great many other birds too numerous to mention.

Burstall is known as the Turbo Expander Capital of the world. A turbo expander is a turbine-like device used to cool plant inlet gas by reducing its pressure. It is used by all gas plants in the Burstall area.

Burstall is a thriving community thanks in part to the strong gas industry in the area: Spectra Energy, Bp Canada, Provident Energy, Atco Midstream, and TransCanada have gas plants within 5 to 10 minutes of Burstall.

Burstall boasts many recreation facilities for its size. It has a large Solar Heated indoor swimming pool with wading pool and jacuzzi, artificial ice arena, a 4 sheet curling rink, a ball park with 5 diamonds, 2 children's playgrounds, a large well equipped fitness centre, a community hall, a 3 lane bowling alley and a 9 hole grass greens golf course with clubhouse and large deck.

There are a number of attractions in the area as well. A pipeline suspension bridge, built in 1957 spans the South Saskatchewan River 19 kms west of town. It is just under .4 kilometer from pier to pier. At the time that was the best way to transport natural gas across the river. There are five huge gas plants in the Burstall area with the oldest being the TransCanada Compressor Station #2 built in 1957.

Sandy Point Park on the banks of the South Saskatchewan River is 20 minutes west of town. Facilities include BBQ's, picnic tables, playground, camp kitchen and camp sites. Hiking trails and great fishing along the river provide relaxing diversions for everyone.

Burstall has one school serving Kindergarten to Grade 8. The small classroom size means a lot of individual attention for students.

Although Burstall has a volunteer Fire Department and First Responders, Police protection is currently provided through the Leader Detatchment with regular visits to Burstall.

The Burstall branch of the Chinook Regional Library is open 3 days a week

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Check out for caches in the sand hills north of Burstall and at the edge of town at the local golf course. Look for caches nearest postal code s0n0h0.




What's a Turbo Expander?

A turbo-expander is a remarkable turbine-like device used to cool plant inlet gas by reducing its pressure. Phase 1 of the BP Amoco plant built by Dome Petroleums in 1971, was the first in Canada to use the turbo-expander, pictured left, to recover natural gas liquids from natural gas. By reducing the pressure of the inlet gas by one-half, the turbo-expander drops the temperature to -90 F degrees. At that temperature most of the propane and 40% of the ethane can be separated from the gas stream. The turbo-expander design was later improved to achieve more than 70% ethane recovery.

All gas plants in the Burstall area use the turbo-expander process for NGL recovery.

Photo by Marc Tremblay