Associated petroleum gas
Historically, this type of gas is released as a waste product from the petroleum extraction industry. Due to the remote location of many oil fields, either at sea or on land, this gas is simply burnt off in gas flares.
However, the gas can, after processing, be utilized in a number of ways: be included in the natural gas distribution networks, used for on-site electricity generation with engines or turbines, reinjected for enhanced oil recovery, or used as feedstock for the petrochemical industry.
Russia is the world leader in the flaring of APG, and flares 30 per cent of the total APG flared globally.
The flaring of APG is controversial as it is a pollutant, a source of global warming and is a waste of a valuable fuel source. APG is flared in many countries where there are significant power shortages.
The World Bank estimates that over 150 billion cubic metres of natural gas are flared or vented annually, an amount worth approximately 30.6 billion dollars, equivalent to 25 percent of the United States’ gas consumption or 30 per cent of the European Union’s gas consumption per year, a resource that could be useful using Gas to liquids (GTL).
Approximate APG composition
- Methane (CH
4) — 81%
- Ethane (C
6) — 5%
- Propane (C
8) — 6%
- Butane (C
10) — 4%
- Nitrogen (N
2) — 1%
- Carbon dioxide (CO2) — >0.15%
- Others — balance
- Coalbed methane — Methane associated with coal deposits
- Landfill gas — Methane associated with municipal landfills
- Wet gas
- Flare gas Definition, Oilfield Glossary, www.glossary.oilfield.slb.com, Accessed 20.05.2011
- Roland, T. H. (2010) Associated Petroleum Gas in Russia - Reasons for Non-Utilisation, FNI Report 13, Fridtjof Nansens Institut,
- Associated Petroleum Gas in Gas Engines, www.clarke-energy.com, accessed 25.11.11
- (Roland 2010 cites Knizhnikov, A. and N Poussenkova (2009) ‘Russian Associated Gas Utilization: Problems and Prospects’, Annual Project Report Environment and Energy: International Context Issue 1. Moscow: World Wildlife Fund and Institute of World Economy and International Relations of the Russian Academy of Sciences
- Flaring Up - Companies Pay High Costs to be Green, www.oilandgaseurasia.com, Accessed 20.05.2011
- Gas flaring in Nigeria, www.foe.co.uk, Accessed 20.05.2011
- Nigeria's gas profits go up in smoke, www.bbc.co.uk, accessed 20.05.2011
- World Bank, GGFR Partners Unlock Value of Wasted Gas", World Bank 14 December 2009. Retrieved 17 March 2010.
- Approximate APG composition (in Russian
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