Pilot expansion further cuts flare gas and reduces emissions
Statoil utilising captured flared gas to power a rig. (Photo: Jay Pickthorn, AP)
Statoil is expanding the pilot of the joint venture’s “Last Mile” fueling solution, which is expected to provide environmental, cost-saving, and logistics solutions for the company’s Bakken oilfield operations.
The pilot project is currently capturing natural gas that would otherwise be flared, and using it instead to assist in powering its oil and gas operations. The company anticipates this new commercial expansion will increase its flare gas capture to between 3-5 million standard cubic feet per day (scfd) by the end of 2014. This equates to total greenhouse gas emission reductions of 120,000-200,000 metric tons per year – the equivalent of removing 25,000-45,000 cars from the road. The natural gas that Statoil captures and which is not able to use in its own operations will be compressed and sold to ancillary markets.
Lance Langford, Statoil vice president for Bakken development and production.
“By using this captured natural gas in place of diesel in our drilling and hydraulic fracturing operations, we are further reducing emissions and costs. This is both good for the bottom line and the climate,” says Statoil Bakken development and production vice president Lance Langford.
North Dakota’s Bakken is one of the key regions where energy companies are focusing on unconventional oil and gas exploration and production. However, because these emerging oil fields often lack the pipeline infrastructure to store and transport the natural gas produced along with oil, operators are forced to flare off up to 30%—or 300 million cubic feet per day—of the associated natural gas produced in the Bakken field alone.
Last Mile is a joint venture solution between GE Ventures and Ferus Natural Gas Fuels to provide a full-service natural gas fueling solution for operators by combining GE’s “CNG In A Box” compressed natural gas-fueling technology and the specialised maintenance and logistics services of Ferus Natural Gas Fuels (Ferus NGF). It helps companies eliminate flaring and monetise previously wasted gas by putting it to work to fuel their own operations and in the local fueling networks.
GE and Ferus NGF are also in discussions with the other major players in the Bakken region about using the Last Mile system for their operations, with the potential of eliminating another 10 million scfd of flared gas—enough to fueling more than 100 drill rigs in North Dakota.
Statoil is collaborating with authorities and industry through the North Dakota Flaring Task Force with the ambition to capture 90% of flaring in the area within 2020. The company also joined the World Bank-led Global Gas Flaring Reduction (GGFR) public-private partnership in 2002. GGFR has set an ambition to reduce flaring globally by 30% within 2017. Statoil has an ambition of no flaring in its operations.
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