Exploration and production (E&P) companies are responsible for managing waste produced as a result of their operations, including waste gases. In some cases, natural gas can be considered a waste gas. More commonly though, natural gas that contains hydrogen sulfide (H2S), called sour gas, needs to be managed. Two common practices used for managing waste natural gas are venting and flaring.
Venting is a controlled release of gases, and in some states, the release of natural gas into the atmosphere is permitted. However, methane (the most prevalent compound in natural gas) is 84 times more potent than carbon dioxide (CO2) and is a large contributor to global warming. Furthermore, sour gas cannot be vented because H2S is toxic and has severe health and safety implications.
Flaring is a common practice that E&Ps use to dispose of sour gas; however, flaring presents two major disadvantages. First, by burning sour gas, E&Ps miss out on the potential revenue associated with that natural gas. Secondly, flaring releases CO2 into the atmosphere, and in the event of incomplete combustion, H2S may also be emitted. Although CO2 does not have the direct human health concerns associated with its release as compared to the H2S held in sour gas, it is significantly contributing to global warming and climate change.
Regulatory activity regarding flaring and venting in the United States is beginning to catch up with other jurisdictions around the world. Regulations such as the California Greenhouse Gas Emissions Standards for Crude Oil and Natural Gas Facilities are a first step. There has also been increasing support from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Fossil Energy to develop new technologies that can reduce the volume of natural gas flared or vented into the atmosphere. Furthermore, Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance (ESG) – considered a buzzword only a few short years ago – has gained significant traction in the last year as public interest and investor attention on ESG performance has surged. As climate change initiatives continue to be at the forefront of public discussion and government planning, E&Ps will face accelerating restrictions when dealing with emissions.
As more investors board the ESG freight train, the need to reduce emissions has become a business imperative. Recent investor, political, and industry shifts have made it evident that E&Ps, big and small, must begin to adapt to ESG requirements and expectations. Industry leaders have already begun to understand that ESG is here to stay and is a strategy to gain access to capital. Recent large transactions in the energy sector highlight this notion and the strategic benefits of integrating ESG into business practices. These factors are why E&Ps are stepping out in front of their competition to include an ESG strategy that works to reduce CO2 emissions. Climate change initiatives and status quo practices are evolving, and the recent voluntary coalition of companies and organizations to form the Texas Methane and Flaring Coalition, comprised of 40 state operators and industry groups, is proof that E&Ps are seeing the benefit of a healthy ESG narrative. The Coalition aims to evaluate existing data and evidence on flaring and methane emissions from the oil and gas industry in Texas and develop opportunities and recommendations to continue to minimize these practices.
Several companies have stepped up to the plate to find innovative solutions to cost-effectively treat their sour gas and reduce their environmental footprint. A technological innovation that has been used is H2S Gas Sweetening. This technology “sweetens” the gas by removing the H2S from sour gas. Specialized chemicals react selectively with and remove (scavenge) H2S molecules to help meet product and process specifications. Ultimately, the aim is to recover the natural gas for redistribution and sale. Additionally, this effort essentially eliminates the emissions that would normally be released during the flaring process.
Integrated Sustainability’s H2S modular scavenger units are specifically designed to be a cost-effective solution for a broad range of operating conditions and product compositions. Providing design-build, turnkey delivery of nearly a dozen bespoke H2S scavenger skids, including two large H2S scavenging skid packages that can each treat up to 10,000 ppm of total sulfur content. Our systems are capable of scavenging H2S content down to 0 ppm and removing greater than 90% of the total inlet sulfur content using a non-regenerative scavenger chemical.
Achieve 100% efficiency in removing your H2S content and mitigate major environmental and social risks
Other providers offer pre-packaged scavenger units that are not customizable to unique specifications. This approach often results in extremely high operating costs because of lower H2S removal efficiency. With a curated system, which is modified to comply with client-specific process requirements and specifications, E&Ps can see 100% efficiency in removing their H2S content.
Benefits to treating sour gas include:
- Reduce health and safety risk and maintain worker’s safety and productivity
- Eliminate toxic odor emissions, creating a positive environmental impact
- Build significant social license both locally and internationally
- Mitigate regulatory risk and escalating pressures to minimize reliance on flaring and venting activities
- Turn a waste product into an asset
- Generate a new source of revenue, further diversifying your asset portfolio
Integrated Sustainability’s full multi-disciplinary approach for the package design, procurement of long-lead items, and fabrication result in curating skid packages that perform at peek efficiency.
Your waste has value. Contact us today for more information.