Flared gas-to-electricity conversion on trial in Oman
By Conrad Prabhu — MUSCAT: MARCH 18 – Petroleum Development Oman (PDO) says it is piloting the use of micro-turbine technology to generate electricity from flared gas — a move that could help the nation’s leading oil and gas producer potentially convert waste gas into valuable energy.
A successful pilot could pave the way for the broader rollout of this technology across its concession area for the conversion of flared gas into electricity, the majority-government-owned company noted in a recent tweet.
The trial is underway at PDO’s Anzauz Production Station in the company’s Oil South Directorate. A fest facility established at Anzauz currently generates around 180 – 195 kW of electricity by converting 1,000 cubic metres per day of fuel gas that would otherwise be flared.
According to details of the trial published in a recent edition of PDO’s in-house magazine, only around five per cent of gas currently flared at Anzauz is utilised by the test micro-turbine unit to generate power. Based on the success of this pilot, micro-turbines could potentially recover an estimated 500,000 cubic metres per day of flared volumes for conversion into electricity.
The eventual deployment of micro-turbine technology across PDO’s Block 6 concession could see as much as 25 per cent of flared gas – estimated at around two million cubic metres per day in 2015 – recovered for power generation. The resulting electricity output will go a long way in meeting the company’s substantial requirement of energy to power its oilfield operations.
At the Anzauz test facility, associated gas from the production station is channelled, compressed and fed to a micro-turbine supplied by California-based Capstone Turbine Corporation, a leading manufacturer of clean technology energy systems. Capstone’s C200 micro-turbine system was supplied with fuel gas pretreatment and compression facilities to support the generation of electricity from flared gas at site.
Significantly, the initiative is in sync with PDO’s broader strategy to reduce the flaring of hydrocarbons and thereby limit the company’s carbon footprint. Flaring is a source of greenhouse gases linked to global warming and climate change.
Flaring currently takes place at numerous locations distributed across the company’s vast concession. Capturing and recovering all of these volumes into a centralised supply source for power generation is described as economically unfeasible given the wide geographical distribution of these sources. In the circumstances, micro-turbine-based power generation is billed as a practical way forward to harnessing flared gas volumes for power generation to meet at least part if not all of the company’s electricity requirement at site.