Statoil expanding project that captures flare gas in North Dakota

Statoil ASA says a pilot project that captures flare gas in North Dakota is expanding to power six drilling rigs and a hydraulic fracturing fleet.

A joint venture of GE and Ferus Natural Gas Fuels provided Statoil with the Last Mile Fueling Solution for an eight-month pilot. Statoil said expansion is expected to provide environmental, cost-saving, and logistics solutions for the company’s Bakken operations.

The company anticipates commercial expansion will increase its flare gas capture to 3-5 MMcfd by yearend.

“By using this captured natural gas in place of diesel in our drilling and hydraulic fracturing operations, we are further reducing emissions and costs,” said Lance Langford, Statoil vice-president for Bakken development and production. “This is both good for the bottom line and the climate.”

Natural gas that Statoil captures and is not able to use in its own operations will be compressed and sold.

Statoil said emerging oil fields often lack the pipeline infrastructure to store and transport the natural gas produced along with oil, and operators are forced to flare up to 30%—or 300 MMcfd—of the associated natural gas produced in the Bakken.

Statoil is collaborating with the North Dakota Flaring Task Force to capture 90% of flaring in the area by 2020 (OGJ Online, July 2, 2014).  

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