As of January 2022, and directly after the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP26, the total number of countries announced their pledges to net zero emission or carbon neutrality reached 136 countries. Also, 24 major cities and 683 major companies announced their pledges to achieve net zero emissions or carbon neutrality. Gas flaring is one of the major contributors to global warming that can be tackled through the strategic design of new facilities or deployment of new technologies to minimize the flaring.
This paper presents in detail different innovative and proven methodologies for eliminating, reducing or monetizing the global gas flaring to meet each company and country commitments to net zero emissions or carbon neutrality. Achieving zero flaring for any industrial facilities starts before the project design by setting the different strategies to minimize the flaring during the life time of the project. Early adoption of different technologies like low leakage valves, ultrasonic flowmeters at strategic plant locations, flowback flared gas to existing low pressure compressors, installing flare gas recovery and direct onsite utilization of flared gas energy. Different strategies will be discussed to achieve zero flaring during project design and operations as well as upgrades to existing facilities. Zero flaring strategies depend on three main pillars; Reduce, Recycle, Reuse. The primary reasons for gas flaring at the plant level are equipment failure, process upsets, purge and pilot gas, valve leakage, equipment maintenance, startup or shutdown activities and finally emergency gas flaring.
To further minimize gas flaring during emergencies, a new flare gas recovery system (FGRS) was developed and patents were filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. The objective of the invention is to eliminate the hydrocarbon gas flaring to atmosphere for any upset scenario for any oil and gas plants. The invention includes utilizing multiple ejectors in parallel with provision of different ejectors operating at different pressures that will allow the system to be used to recover flare gas over a range of different flow rates corresponding to different emergency release scenarios. The ejector based FGRS was granted under U.S. Patent No. 10,429,067 in October 2019 to utilize the ejector based FGRS concept for emergency flare gas recovery. Also, two new patents are under filing to utilize the liquid as motive fluid instead of the gas.
Finally, many technology providers and startups are currently working on overcoming the challenges of monetizing the flare gas. These companies are using the Insitu monetization techniques to overcome the challenges of flare gas such as scattered availability in remote locations with small quantities. Some of the solutions include converting the gas to power for Insitu use in Bitcoin mining or Insitu conversion to chemicals and petroleum products for easy transportation.