Gas Processing & LNG is Produced by Gulf Publishing Holdings LLC

Natural gas flaring hits record high in Q1

Natural gas flaring and venting in the top U.S. oil field reached an all-time high in the first quarter of the year due to the lack of pipelines, at a time of increased focus on environmental concerns about methane emissions.

Producers burned or vented 661 million cubic feet per day (mmcfd) in the Permian Basin of West Texas and eastern New Mexico, the field that has driven the U.S. to record oil production, according to a new report from Rystad Energy.

The Permian’s first-quarter flaring and venting level more than doubles the production of the U.S. Gulf of Mexico’s most productive gas facility, Royal Dutch Shell’s Mars-Ursa complex, which produces about 260 to 270 mmcfd of gas.

A lack of pipelines and pipeline outages drove the first quarter numbers to a new record.

“It’s very persistent issue with infrastructure,” said Artem Abramov, head of shale research at Rystad.

Natural gas that emerges alongside crude oil is often treated as a byproduct of oil drilling. Crude oil can move by pipe, train or truck, but natural gas can only move by pipeline, and construction has Permian has not kept up with output.

The Permian is expected to flare more than 650 mmcfd until the second half of the year when the Gulf Coast Express pipeline comes online, Abramov said. The Gulf Coast Express is designed to transport up to 2 billion cubic feet of natural gas and is scheduled begin operations in October.

“It will be a temporary solution,” said Abramov. “We don’t have any other major project coming online until late in 2020.”

The Bakken shale field in North Dakota also continued to flare a high level in the first quarter, around 500 mmcfd, according to Rystad.

Together, the two oil fields on a yearly basis are burning and venting more than the gas demand in countries that include Hungary, Israel, Azerbaijan, Colombia and Romania, according to the report.

The Bakken “has been a challenge for many years,” Abramov said. “It’s hard to propose new source of gas demand in that area. It’s hard to connect the Bakken to the Gulf Coast, and the Gulf Coast is where” gas demand is growing.

Several oil and gas companies have pledged to limit leaks of methane, a potent greenhouse gas, and to reducing flaring and venting. (Reporting by Jennifer Hiller Editing by Marguerita Choy)


Copyright © 2018. All market data is provided by Barchart Solutions. Futures: at least a 10 minute delay. Information is provided 'as is' and solely for informational purposes, not for trading purposes or advice. To see all exchange delays and terms of use, please see disclaimer.

                                  CMEGroup                                     Icelogo


Editorial Comment
-Adrienne Blume
On the changing landscape of global natural gas trade, the US has magnified its export power by remaining a net exporter for 13 months as of February 2019.
EWAnalysis: US LNG producers eye major growth
- Energy Web Atlas
The US LNG market has experienced rapid growth over the past decade due to the availability of inexpensive feedstock and increased worldwide demand.
Regional Focus: Nigeria moves to expand its liquefaction capacity
-Shem Oirere
The award in July 2018 of long-awaited contracts for the front-end engineering design (FEED) of Nigeria’s Train 7 gas plant expansion project to two consortia is the country’s latest attempt to address the enormous challenges of gas flaring and gas shortages for power plants and domestic consumption.

Reliable Operations & Saving OPEX for Gas Plant Refrigeration – Selecting the right technologies

Register Now

By selecting integrally geared turbocompressors for gas plant refrigeration duty coupled with a mag bearing turboexpander, operators get the added values of technology with highly reliable operations and reduced OPEX. Join Sami Tabaza and Chris Blackmer from Atlas Copco Gas and Process for a presentation followed by Q&A surrounding the turbocompressor and turboexpander technologies that can efficiently and reliably fit your gas plant design and operation to get the advantages of both technologies.

June 18, 2019 10:00 AM CDT

Register Now


Please read our Term and Conditions, Cookies Policy, and Privacy Policy before using the site. All material subject to strictly enforced copyright laws.
© 2019 Gulf Publishing Holdings LLC.