BP Amoco's environmental policy states that all routine venting and flaring on oil and gas producing facilities should be eliminated by 2001 and 2003 respectively. The company will shortly make a decision as to how it will reduce flaring and venting in its Forties field in the North Sea. Umoe Process Technology (UPT) says it has completed several studies for BP Amoco into ways to reduce flaring and venting on offshore platforms with environmental and economic benefits.
Flaring is the burning off of excess gas; venting is the release of unburned hydrocarbons into the atmosphere. Both add to global warming. In the Forties study, UPT looked into ways of using the excess gas onboard the platform itself. "The gas can be used as fuel gas to generate power on the platform. This has environmental benefits, as it reduces emissions, and economic benefits, as it improves profits," explained Morten Sivertsen of UPT.
A second phase of the study was completed earlier this year. Further work is ongoing to evaluate the various options.
In UPT's portfolio of solutions is a flare gas recovery system. The system saves the gas, which is normally flared off and can then be utilized for power generation or sold. UPT says its system not only reduces the emissions of both carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide, but eliminates the need for continuous flaring on oil and gas producing facilities. Other solutions brought to bear are volatile organic compound recovery systems and combined cycle cogeneration steam power systems.