The Global View

Can wasteful gas flaring be stopped?

We mentioned in an earlier post that the size of the global gas-flaring problem is massive – 150 billion cubic meters per year of flared gas is roughly equivalent to gas use in all US residences for a year (Source: GE report).

If you don’t know what gas flaring is – read this post.

Carbon Sciences – a catalyst company based in Santa Barbara – has developed a technology that can make a synthetic crude oil it claims is “ultra-clean.”

Using a dry-reforming methane conversion process, it has learned to produce what it calls CarbonCrude, a synthetic crude oil (conversion of C02) that can be mixed with traditional crude oil.

If true, this new process could pave the way for the elimination of gas flaring at smaller oil fields and for the production of a valuable fuel.

The technology is being offered to oil and gas companies that operate small to mid-sized oil fields, where traditional natural-gas-saving techniques are not considered economically viable enough to pursue.

Byron Elton, CEO of Carbon Sciences, says, “Associated gas is a big problem for resource holders and can negatively affect oil field economics. By converting this excess gas into synthetic crude oil using our low-capital, cleantech solution, we believe we can deliver both economic and social value to oil field operators.

“The solution was developed for a small-scale operation that can convert oil field natural gas into CarbonCrude. (It) can then be blended with natural crude oil from the field and transported to market using existing oil pipelines. Existing refineries can then process this blended crude oil into a variety of products, including transportation fuels.”