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Recovering flare gas

January 27, 2003, 13:45 CET

Emissions of carbon dioxide and hydrogen sulphide from Statoil’s Mongstad refinery near Bergen will be greatly reduced with the opening of a new flare gas recovery plant.

Starting operation on 24 January, this facility can recover about five tonnes of gas per hour but is currently handling around 2.5 tonnes per hour.

That is sufficient to cut flaring by 50 per cent, which in turn reduces annual carbon dioxide and hydrogen sulphide emissions by 42 000 and 50 tonnes respectively.

Noise and smell from the flare are also diminished, and there will be less light pollution of the area.

Capacity utilisation at the plant will vary in line with refinery requirements. The technology used provides good flexibility for handling surplus gas.

The latter is diverted from the flare line, desulphurised and pumped back into the fuel gas network for use in refinery processes.

Statoil expects to recover its NOK 35 million investment in the recovery plant within three years.

The system has been developed by ABB Gas Technology in cooperation with Statoil, and builds on a solution patented by the group.

This method has been in use since 1994 to shut down flares on Norwegian offshore installations, and has also been adopted in other parts of the world during recent years.