Technology Focus: Natural Gas Processing and Handling (April 2012)
- George Hobbs (Strategic Chemistry Pty. Ltd.)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- April 2012
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 108 - 108
- 2012. Copyright is retained by the author. This document is distributed by SPE with the permission of the author. Contact the author for permission to use material from this document.
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In 2010, natural-gas reserves were approximately equivalent to 75% of the oil reserves (including oil sands). Unconventional gas sources continue to make up an increasingly important part of the natural-gas supply, particularly shale gas and coal-bed methane (CBM), which contribute approximately 40% to US natural-gas reserves.
Generally, very remote offshore gas reserves cannot be exploited economically by use of fixed subsea pipelines that tend to link the field with a specific geographical market. Operators can maximize market reach through natural-gas liquefaction and improved marine liquefied-natural-gas (LNG) tankers. For ultimate flexibility, four floating LNG-production facilities are predicted to come on stream within this decade.
Commercial exploitation of the known massive hydrate reserves probably is some time off; however, the chemistry research involved in hydrate management for current natural-gas production may accelerate progress in that area. Hydraulic-water reuse is key to the future of the CBM and shale-gas industries.
There are many opportunities to learn about and share natural-gas technologies. An SPE workshop, “Reducing Environmental Impact of Unconventional Resources Development,” will take place in San Antonio, Texas, 23–25 April 2012. A joint SPE/SEG workshop, “Injection Induced Seismicity,” will be held in Broomfield, Colorado, 12–14 September 2012. There will be an SPE “Tight Gas” workshop in Adelaide, Australia, 10–13 June 2012, and the SPE Unconventional Reservoir Technical Interest Group (TIG) provides a useful information exchange, as does the Gas Technology TIG. The 2013 SPE Unconventional Gas Conference and Exhibition will be held in Muscat, Oman, 28–30 January. The 2013 SPE International Symposium on Oilfield Chemistry to be held in The Woodlands, Texas, 9–13 April, includes topics on gas-processing chemical applications.
Acid-gas (CO2 and H2S) removal from natural gas and sequestration/recovery/disposal technologies are very important in exploitation of poorer-quality gas finds. Much work continues in this area, and very large acid-gas-removal units are in operation or are planned for the Arabian Gulf region.
Recommended additional reading at OnePetro: www.onepetro.org.
IPTC 15208 World’s First Demonstration Project of Natural Gas Hydrate Land Transportation by Tomonori Nogami, Mitsui Engineering and Shipbuilding, et al.
IPTC 14206 International LNG Prospects: 2011 and Beyond by Chau Tran, University of Houston, et al.
SPE 143019 Underground Natural-Gas Storage in the UK: Business Feasibility Case Study by Esther Escobar, University of Aberdeen, et al.
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