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Associated petroleum gas (APG), or associated gas, is a form of natural gas which is found with deposits of petroleum, either dissolved in the oil or as a free "gas cap" above the oil in the reservoir. Due to the remote location of many oil fields, either at sea or on land, this gas is simply burnt off in gas flares. When this occurs the gas is referred to as flare gas. In the past, oil producers have treated APG as an unwanted oil by-product. But because of the increase in both environmental consciousness and energy demand, flaring is often avoided and is sometimes prohibited.

 

Associated gas, upon its separation from crude oil it commonly exists in mixtures with other hydrocarbons such as ethane, propane, butane and pentanes. Additionally, raw natural gas contains water vapor, hydrogen sulphide (H2S) and carbon dioxide (CO2), nitrogen (N2) and other compounds. APG that contains such impurities cannot be transported easily and also cannot be used without treatment since it is recovered during the oil production process. It can have similar compositions to natural gas in general, but has significantly higher fluctuations regarding the specific composition which may have a direct impact on the knock resistance.

 

Utilization of GE Jenbacher gas engines allows efficient conversion of APG to power. This power can be used to cover the electric and heat loads on-site, thus minimizing the transfer costs of fuel oil to remote locations. Carbon dioxide emissions are also reduced compared to those that diesel engines would produce for the same load coverage.

 

GE Jenbacher provides an alternative ideal solution

 

Commonly, facilities that utilize associated petroleum gas exist in remote areas, where power supply is often poor or does not exist at all. Therefore, in most cases the coverage of electric and heat loads is performed by diesel generators and boilers. Due to the rapid rises in diesel fuel prices and the growing interest in carbon emissions, the use of such means of load coverage is highly uneconomical. Other disadvantages arising from this practice are the supply of diesel fuel in remote areas and the need of storage facilities, which lead to additional costs. Associated gas is often well suited for use in gas engines, upon treatment of dehumidification and removal of condensable hydrocarbons from the gas. After such treatment it makes a valuable fuel gas that utilized in GE Jenbacher gas engines provides independent power and heat production, high efficiency and low environmental footprint. The engines are normally installed in containerized units with all peripheral systems (ventilation, silencers, cooling, control room) installed inside or on the roof. The waste heat from the engines and the exhaust gas can also be used for heating or cooling purposes on site, depending on local demands.

Advantages of CHP systems utilizing Associated Petroleum Gas

 

Using as fuel a gas that would otherwise be a management problem by-product of the crude oil production process offers a set of benefits.

  • Disposal of a management problem whilst producing a useable product.

  • Avoidance of diesel fuel storage and deliveries in remote areas.

  • Independent, high efficient power production on-site.

  • High overall efficiency of cogeneration systems that reaches up to 90%.

  • Minimization of fuel costs while reducing the environmental cost of the production process.

  • Guaranteed smooth operation of GE Jenbacher APG gensets, despite fluctuations in composition and impurities of the gas fuel.

  • The release of methane in the atmosphere is prevented, contributing in the reduction of the impacts of the greenhouse effect.

  • Maximum availability and reliability despite high or low ambient temperatures.

  • Easy, fast installation and comfortable operation provided by the container solution.