The Methane Issue

Emissions of Methane, the major component of Natural Gas, is gaining increaseattention worldwide because of its effects on global warming. Pound for pound, Methane is 25 times as potent as the more recognized greenhouse gas, Carbon Dioxide, over a 100-year period with the short term effects being much more pronounced.

A significant source of methane gas emissions is Surface Casing Vents/Casing Head Vents which are not large individually but significant in aggregate. a pictorial description follows:

Surface Casing Vent Flows:

 

Most of these point source emissions are not candidates for capture and reuse, flaring or combustion. There are several reasons these abatement technologies are impracticable including inadequate flowrates, low pressure and safety. Even when flows are adequate, significant capital is required for infrastructure and infrastructure support, particularly in remote locations. 


SCV flows are an excellent example where the flows and pressure are relatively low and the only currently available option is venting to atmosphere. Note that venting is frequently required to prevent contamination of ground water. This situation applies to a myriad of oil and gas wells that at the time of drilling or later in life have developed leaks from well heads or casing vents. These wells include wells that are producing, inactive or suspended. It is the point source vents that the Metan technology applies to.