Key Drivers: ‘Reducing Emissions and Avoiding Curtailment’
Mobile gas capture and natural gas extraction units from Gtuit are helping Enerplus reduce its flare gas – and maintain production – on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation in North Dakota’s Bakken oilfield, says Caterpillar, a minority owner of Gtuit.
The Gtuit gear helps Enerplus continue operating at full capacity, Cat says, despite stricter regulations by the North Dakota Industrial Commission.
“The new rulings require oil and gas producers to meet a certain percentage of gas capture or have production curtailed to 100 or 200 barrels a day,” Norm Robotham, Enerplus team lead for U.S. facilities engineering, says in a Caterpillar release.
Making the Bakken Better
“Some of our wells can produce over 1,000 barrels daily, so that’s a significant penalty. Reducing emissions and avoiding curtailment were the key drivers in our decision to look at the Gtuit units,” Robotham said.
The Gtuit units are about the size of a semi-trailer and easily connect to an engine or generator set, Caterpillar explains. They “significantly decrease the volume of flared gas at the wellhead, reducing the volume of volatile organic compounds released into the atmosphere.
An Additional Source of Revenue
“Instead, those compounds are captured as natural gas liquids, or NGLs, which can be conserved and sold on the market for later use.”
For Enerplus, Cat continues, the potential to add a revenue source by selling NGLs represents “an exciting long-term opportunity.” For the short term, the company is focused on reducing emissions and keeping its wells operating at capacity.
“Gas capture requirements continue to go up, from 77% in January 2015, to 80% in April 2016, then 85% by November 2016, and finally to 90% by 2020,” Robotham says. “The combination of units like Gtuit’s and improving pipeline infrastructure will help us reach those targets.”
‘Reliable and Dependable’
Currently, Enerplus has three Gtuit units in operation with a fourth on standby, Cat says, “and Robotham wouldn’t hesitate to add more if the need arises.”
“It’s proven technology available at a good price point, and the units are very mobile so you can move them around as needed,” he says. “The working relationship with Gtuit has been positive at all levels, too.
“They’re reliable and dependable – they do what they say they’re going to do. That’s important in this business.”Contact information is only available to premium subscribers. Click here to purchase a premium subscription. Click here to purchase a premium subscription.
Source: Caterpillar Oil & Gas with HHP Insight follow-up