With little to no available capacity in pipelines and low natural gas prices, particularly in the Permian Basin where gas often is traded for below zero, operators are either choosing to or have no choice but to flare off greater amounts of associated gas. According to The World Bank, gas flaring rose about 48% in the U.S. from 2017 to 2018. In 2018 global gas flaring amounted to 145 Bcm (5 Tcf), equivalent to the total annual gas consumption of Central and South America, The World Bank reported.
Meanwhile, Denver’s Crusoe Energy Systems is looking to put the associated gas that would otherwise be flared to good use. The company has created its Digital Flare Mitigation (DFM) service that converts natural gas into electricity, which subsequently powers containerized data center units.
“We take raw gas—we can also take lean gas—and we run it into generators that generate electricity,” said Cully Cavness, president and co founder at Crusoe. “We set up a situation where we take the gas that was being flared and we do something beneficial with it right on site.” The DFM service is set up downstream of the separator, treatment devices and heaters where a manifold is installed into the gas line, diverting the stream to Crusoe’s electricity generation system.
That electricity then powers onsite data centers that house customized electrical networking, telecommunications equipment and wellsite digital operations. According to the company, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency-certified DFM system’s electricity generation process comes with built-in emissions control technology and catalytic converters that can reduce NOx, carbon monoxide and methane emissions compared to flare exhaust streams…