Approximately 5% of world annual gas production is being flared or vented. This is equivalent to approximately 110–140 billion m3 (Bcm) of gas, and equates to the combined gas consumption of Central and South America in 2013.
The World Bank estimates that flaring 140 Bcm would cause more than 350 million tonnes of CO2 release into the atmosphere. If this could be harnessed for power, for example, it could produce 750 billion kW-hr/year, more than Africa’s entire annual consumption.
Capturing the flared or vented gas presents an opportunity for operators to reduce the environmental impact as well as provide an economic opportunity to generate an additional revenue stream. The World Bank’s “Zero Routine Flaring by 2030” initiative is calling on governments and companies to achieve this target within the next 15 years. To address both the need to end routine gas flaring and tackle climate change concerns, DNV GL has conducted research titled “Natural Gas Capture—Clean and Economic,” which examines the viability of alternative solutions and their revenue potential.
The conceptual study looked at four existing oil and gas facilities, onshore in North Dakota, Algeria, and Russia, and offshore Vietnam, which provided a variety of volumes and rates of gas being flared. This enabled the modeling of a range of diverse technologies on real locations and field conditions as most flaring occurs at either aging and/or remote locations....
Guest Editorial: Creating Value From Flared Natural Gas
Martin Layfield, Global Segment Leader Gas Value Chain, DNV GL
12 April 2016