Oil & Gas 360

Publisher’s Note: Trido Solutions will be presenting in-person on the Methane Mitigation Panel at The Oil & Gas Conference on Wednesday, August 18th from 1:30 p.m. MT – 2:30 p.m. MT at the Westin Denver Downtown and is available for 1×1 meetings. You can register to attend the conference at https://www.theoilandgasconference.com.

Regulations Crack-Down on Fugitive Methane Emissions

The Solution to Combating GHG Impact from Pneumatic Devices

 By: Ru Schaefferkoetter – Guest Columnist

The Problem with Methane Emissions

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in 2019, pneumatic devices and pumps accounted for more than half of methane emissions reported by U.S. oil and gas operation to EPA. Fugitive methane emissions from pneumatic equipment in the field costs U.S. oil and gas producers approximately $232 million in revenue and creates enough pollution to rival 9.7 million cars on the road – each year.

Regulations Crack-Down on Fugitive Methane Emissions - oil and gas 360

Reducing fugitive methane emission is arguably one of the most effective “low hanging” solutions to reducing Green House Gases (GHG) in the atmosphere, as methane has a very high, initial impact, mainly due to its potent, short-term GHG effect.  However, methane more quickly breaks down once emitted into the atmosphere, versus Carbon Dioxide’s (CO2) longer-term GHG effects.

Failure of the Current Solutions

Current emission reduction solutions for pneumatic devices and equipment available on the market focus on 3 categories:

  1. Using instrument air to replace natural gas to power pneumatic devices and pumps. This is a very popular option, but these air compressors need access to grid electricity or a constant supply of diesel or natural gas as fuel.
  2. Electric-powered devices and pumps, which are effective, but expensive. Again, this option relies on accessibility to grid electricity, or a constant supply of diesel or natural gas fuel to power on-site generators.
  3. Using captured or combusted methane emissions downstream of the systems via Vapor Recovery Units (VRU’s) or Vapor Combustion Units (VCU’s). Installation of VRU or VCU systems is very capital intensive, especially for a remote, single-well sites or small pad sites, and this option still result in CO2 emission.

Regulations Crack-Down on Fugitive Methane Emissions - oil and gas 360

Successful Solutions are -all About Efficiency and Cost

The commonality among all these solutions is the dependency on hydrocarbon sources. Renewable energy, such as solar or wind, has not been widely adopted to address pneumatic devices emission despite its increasing application in electricity generation. Why is that? The answer lies in efficiency and cost.

There are two types of efficiency losses that have been preventative for renewable integration.

  1. The loss of efficiency from transformations of energy: converting electrical (generator/solar) à pneumatic (compressed air) à kinetic (driving devices and pumps).
  2. The loss of efficiency inherent to equipment design (average 30-50% efficiency loss).

These energy efficiency losses translate into higher electricity demand and higher capital cost for electrical infrastructure, dramatically increase economic barriers to construct solar arrays to power remote well sites.

Historically, the economic hurdle was simply too high for renewable energy to power oil and gas pneumatic devices and pumps, until the industry took note of technology being used in aerospace applications.

A New Approach Inspired by Aerospace

Trido Solutions, a vertically integrated technology company, took on the challenge by integrating

a high efficiency motor and controller technology designed for Aerospace. Trido’s innovative PMAC brushless motor draws only ¼ of the power compared to peers delivering similar work. Trido’s motor features a soft start-up requiring <0.5 amp to start (compared to 4-40amp for peers), and only draws 1-2 amps during normal operation. This breakthrough technology enabled remote, with limited sun light, to operate at a fraction of cost on solar power infrastructure, making solar integration a reality.

The Keys to Trido’s innovative motor technology adaptation:

  1. Reduces the cost of solar infrastructure by more than half, drastically lowering the economic barriers for solar integration.
  2. Extends battery life; enables longer autonomous run times; and reduces maintenance cycle and intervention time.
  3. Decentralized concept separating pneumatic pumps and controller operation, ensure self-sustainable power source with better reliability and performance.
  4. Provides true zero, Scope 1 emission by eliminating the burning diesel or natural gas for generators or compressors, along with the bonus of fuel cost saving.

Regulations Crack-Down-oil and gas 360 on Fugitive Methane Emissions

Trido’s mission is to reduce GHG emission by transforming power consumption efficiency and leveraging small scale solar power to replace existing pneumatic pumps with solar pumps; and replace natural gas with instrument air by lowering the economic barrier to making solar electrification on remote well sites possible.

About the Author: Ru Schaefferkoetter is the President and CEO of Trido Solutions, a vertically integrated business focusing on methane emission mitigation and carbon management for onshore oil and gas production. Ru spent 8 years in the oil and gas industry. She is also a US Army Iraq War Veteran.

For more information, you can contact Ru at [email protected] and visit Trido’s website at https://www.tridosolutions.com.

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