Utilising flare gas to generate power in the oil-and-gas sector

22 January 2020

expansion of the oil-and-gas industry continues to fuel the demand for new
technologies that tackle the impact of flare gas emissions globally. While the
production of oil has grown by roughly 30% over the past two decades, the
climate impact of flare gas, typically considered a waste by-product by the
oil-and-gas industry, continues to be a cause for concern. Globally, 140
million cubic meters of natural gas are flared annually, emitting more than 300
million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) into the environment.

to Cummins, a lack of infrastructure to capture and sell the flare gas released
when drilling for oil is a major environmental problem. Billions of dollars in
wasted natural gas could be used to generate reliable, affordable electricity,
and yield billions more per year in increased global economic output.

development institutions and oil companies around the world are being pressured
to look at the amount of money spent in gas flaring, and the damage it is causing
to the environment,” Linda Nezerwe, Technical Specialist at Cummins, and expert
in emissions control for both diesel and gas generator sets, says.

company recently launched the HSK78G natural gas generator series, designed to
provide reliable power regardless of the natural gas source or the climate, and
capable of generating power from very aggressive fuels otherwise considered waste
products. “The quantity of unburned fuel that needs to be flared is usually
known, but the question is what to do with it,” Nezerwe adds.

World Bank, which has launched an initiative called Zero Routine Flaring by
2030, has stated that, if this quantity of gas were used for power generation,
it could provide about 750 billion kWh of electricity, or more than the African
continent’s current annual electricity consumption. While associated gas cannot
always be used to produce power, it can often be utilised in a number of other
productive ways, or conserved.

critical development for the oil-and-gas industry is the advancing technology
in natural gas generators to utilise fuel sources that would otherwise be
considered water products,” Nezerwe highlights. “This leads to robust power
solutions even with very aggressive fuels with minimal derating.

result is that routine flaring can be reduced and transformed into a more
environment-friendly option, while also helping communities by supplying
electricity. These advancements in power generation applications allow
operators to utilise environmentally harmful raw flare gas for diverse purposes
instead of simply burning it, with clear benefits to the environment.


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About Cummins

Cummins Inc., a global technology leader, is a corporation of
complementary business segments that designs, manufactures, distributes and
services a broad portfolio of power solutions. The company’s products range
from diesel and natural gas engines to hybrid and electric platforms, as well
as related technologies, including transmissions, battery systems, fuel
systems, controls, air handling, filtration, emission solutions, and power
generation systems. Headquartered in Columbus, Indiana (U.S.), since its
founding in 1919, Cummins employs approximately 62,600 people committed to
powering a more prosperous world through three global corporate responsibility
priorities critical to healthy communities: education, environment and equality
of opportunity. Cummins serves customers in approximately 190 countries and
territories through a network of approximately 600 company-owned and
independent distributor locations, and over 7,600 dealer locations. In 2018,
the company earned about $2.1 billion on sales of $23.8 billion. See how
Cummins is powering a world that’s Always On by accessing news releases and
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