140 billion m3 of natural gas produced together with oil is wastefully burned at thousands of oil fields around the world. New DNV GL research shows alternatives to flaring and their economic viability.
Based on real locations and field conditions, DNV GL’s methodology uses gas flowrate and distance to market to select the most appropriate technical solutions on a case-by-case basis. The methodology could present new revenue opportunities, particularly for smaller-scale applications for operators, while helping them to reduce emissions and stay ahead of regulatory requirements.
DNV GL’s methodology is informed by detailed case studies in four countries: Russia, USA, Algeria and Vietnam. Each geographical setting provides different technical, regulatory and economic challenges.
Flaring of gas contributes to climate change and releases toxic components that can harm the health and the well-being of local communities. It also wastes a valuable energy resource that could be used to advance the sustainable development of producing countries. Most flaring occurs at either ageing and/or remote installations.
However, without a global cost penalty for emitted carbon, there are few business incentives to capture the flared gas. Financial barriers can significantly impede the efforts to reduce emissions and this is particularly true for countries with developing economies. Access to funding to develop projects and the implementation of technologies is a factor and it is hoped that the work conducted by DNV GL can help to demonstrate the economic scenarios which can instil confidence in the industry to achieve more.
Similarly, regulatory drivers are limited in many geographies. However, the World Bank initiative to end routine gas flaring at oil production sites by 2030 is helping to drive industry momentum, with endorsement by ten countries, ten oil companies and seven development institutions.
Adapted from press release by Joseph Green