WILLISTON, ND—Statoil North America Inc. is at the forefront of efforts to reduce flaring in the Bakken shale in North Dakota, pilot-testing a mobile system that converts associated gas into CNG at the wellsite.
The system, called the Last Mile Fueling Solution, uses a device the size of a standard 8 ft-by-20 ft shipping container to compress associated gas.
“We were trying to come up with a system that would allow us to go where the flaring problem is,” said Statoil Regional Manager Lance Langford. The system was the result of a collaborative effort with GE Oil & Gas Inc., and Ferus Inc.
A mobile system is necessary because flaring moves around the Williston basin, occurring wherever midstream infrastructure is overwhelmed. Flaring often occurs in an area when a group of wells is brought online at a multiwell pad at high initial rates, knocking other wells off local midstream systems.
The benefits of Statoil’s pilot CNG program are numerous. Emissions are reduced and, rather than flare associated gas, the CNG program puts the fuel to work powering rigs and equipment. Using locally sourced CNG also displaces more-expensive diesel that is typically brought in by truck, pipeline, or rail from out of state. North Dakota has just one small refinery and a second refining unit under construction near Dickenson.