The full-length paper describes the project evolution, from the first study to the implementable concept of energy production using the associated gas of two onshore facilities in Tunisia. Despite its complex composition, high carbon dioxide (CO2) content, high hydrogen sulfide (H2S) concentration, and the relatively low quantities of available flared gas, a technically and economically feasible solution was developed successfully.
Thyna Petroleum Services (TPS) is a Tunisian joint-venture corporation of the Tunisian governmental oil and gas company, Entreprise Tunisienne d'Activités Pétrolières (ETAP), and the Austrian oil and gas affiliated group OMV A.G. based in Sfax. One of the future objectives of TPS is to avoid, or at least reduce, flaring of associated gas contained in crude oil during oil production. A particular challenge is to discover a process that enables the use of the associated gas despite its untypical gas composition for valorization processes.
Use of the associated gas will also reduce greenhouse-gas emissions. Therefore, this project also could be considered as a Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) project (United Nations 2010).
CDM is an arrangement under the Kyoto Protocol that allows industrialized countries with an emission-reduction or emission-limitation commitment to invest in an emission-reduction project in developing countries as an alternative to more-expensive emission reductions in their own countries. Such projects can earn saleable certified-emission-reduction (CER) credits, each equivalent to 1 ton of CO2, which can be counted toward meeting the Kyoto targets.
Increasing energy prices over the last few years, as well as enhancements in the process area, make the use of associated gas more and more interesting. Furthermore, the pressure of environmental and political organizations to develop new alternatives to flaring is constantly rising.