In the current energy industry, there is a strong emphasis on environmental, social, and governance (ESG). Specifically, managing the flaring of natural gas. Globally, 142 bcm of natural gas was flared in 2020. This resulted in around 265 Mt CO2, nearly 8 Mt of methane, and other GHGs being directly emitted into the atmosphere (Schulz, 2021). We have a focus of eliminating the emissions surrounding flare gas by utilizing the EPA’s Avoided Emissions and geneRation Tool.
The technology does this by utilizing a waste gas stream that would otherwise be combusted or flared and turn it into useable grid power. The waste gas stream is collected from the well and production equipment, then combusted in a natural gas generator. Power from the generator is converted to DC power, sent to a small capacitive bank, electronically synced, and sold back to the power grid using a 208 or 480v 3 phase connection. All applicable operational data is collected via sensors (power, pressures, errors, flow), stored in a database, and visualized through a website.
This paper presents and discusses a case study of using this waste gas stream technology to not only generate electricity but significantly decrease the emissions into the atmosphere through the EPAs avoided emissions tool. The first step involves identifying the appropriate pad site with stranded or flare gas volumes of at least 50 mcfd. Once a site is identified, the next step involves determining what the electrical infrastructure on location comprises and if it has 480v 3-phase power. With the location identified it is time to bring the unit on site. The unit is comprised of a natural gas generator skid and the patented technology skid. We installed a VRU and tied directly into the flare line and through a scrubber to the generator. The next step is to move the power to the proprietary technology skid unit and clean the DC power to grid acceptable AC power. We then moved the clean AC power to run the production equipment on site and the balance onto the power grid. On our case study test site, we captured 1.4 mmcf that would have otherwise been leaked into the atmosphere and generated approximately 80 MW that was sold back to the grid.
The technology presented in this paper reduced GHG emissions, provided a power source on location, and generated revenue for the operator. Our case study application would reduce GHG emission by approximately 3,400 lbs. in a one-year timeframe. The result of this technology is a new and novel technique for the energy industry to use to decrease emissions, generate onsite power, and generate revenue from selling power back onto the grid.