Primus Green Energy Inc., a gas-to-liquids (GTL) technology development company that transforms methane and other natural gas and oilfield feedstocks into end products including transportation fuels, methanol, and diluent, has developed a small-scale GTL solution for flared gas applications using the company’s proprietary STG+ technology. The process is designed to transform flared gas that is going to waste or stranded gas otherwise uneconomic to process into liquid products directly onsite.
Primus’ modular units, which will be economical in scales as small as 350 barrels per day (bpd), can be easily transported for onsite use at oil fields in remote locations where no pipeline infrastructure exists to get the “associated” gas to market. The units will be scalable, flexible, and modular enough to be integrated with existing production operations or to be completely self-sufficient, depending on the project needs.
Primus’ STG+ technology is a catalytic thermochemical process that transforms syngas – a mixture of H2 and CO – derived from natural gas directly into products such as gasoline, diesel, and organic solvents. The technology addresses the problem of flaring, which has been called the “billion-dollar bonfire.” The increased production of oil in remote locations, such as North Dakota’s Bakken formation, has resulted in an increase in flaring because no pipeline infrastructure exists to get the associated gas to market.
“The opportunity to monetize flared gas through small-scale GTL options represents a huge opportunity for the industry,” said Dr. Theo H. Fleisch, an advisor to the World Bank-led Global Gas Flaring Reduction (GGFR) Partnership. “There is a strong need for small-scale, modular, low-cost process units with flexible capacity and for readily useable products.”
In addition to wasting an estimated 140 billion cubic meters of natural gas worldwide, according to the GGFR Partnership, flaring also poses an environmental problem, releasing an estimated 350 million tons of greenhouse gases (GHG) annually into the atmosphere.
“Reducing – and, ultimately, eliminating – gas flaring will depend on technological innovation, along with market development, infrastructure and investment,” said Bjorn Hamso, manager of the World Bank-led GGFR. “Much of this is emerging from private sector players, whose contributions can move the gas flaring reduction agenda forward by contributing to win-win solutions for investors and the local and global environment.”
By comparison with other GTL technologies, Primus’ STG+ process is designed to eliminate complexity, reduce footprint, expedite delivery time, improve product quality, and increase yield. The process converts 1 MMBtu of natural gas directly into approximately 5 US gallons of liquid fuels, which, the company claims, is among the highest documented conversion efficiencies in the industry.