Berg's chilling technology cuts carbon

By Geoff Lee

September 15, 2016 12:00 AM

Refrigeration technology developed by Canada’s Berg Chilling Systems Inc. is ready to help oil and gas producers in Western Canada reduce carbon dioxide emissions from associated gas at the wellhead.
Berg, based in Toronto, has partnered with GTUIT in Billings, Mont., to develop a technology that is capturing and storing natural gas that would otherwise be flared off at oil well sites into the atmosphere.
Company president Don Berggren said Berg’s chilling technology has literally turned an oil producer’s   waste stream into a revenue generator while helping them reduce emissions.
Berg’s chilling technology works with GTUIT’s innovative system that uses proprietary flow control, mechanical refrigeration and compression to achieve maximum natural gas liquids (NGLs) recovery that dramatically reduces emissions and conserves energy for later use.
“We were introduced to GTUIT about four years ago,” said Berggren.
“They had a solution for collecting, conditioning and reducing flare gas, but needed a little help on the refrigeration side of their process.
“We worked together on a solution that we felt would work in the harsh environments of North Dakota and Montana.”
GTUIT developed a mobile, scalable wellhead gas processing technology that recovers natural gas liquids, strips out the hydrocarbons and produces a high BTU dry gas stream.
The dry gas is being used to power onsite equipment or converted into compressed or liquid natural gas on site.
Over the past three years, about 30 operating systems have collected more than 23 million gallons of natural gas liquids in the two U.S. states in the Williston Basin shale oil play.
In addition, five billion cubic feet of associated gas has been treated and almost 200,000 tons of CO2 has been diverted from the atmosphere.
“What’s kind of nice about it at this point in time is, we have a proven solution,” said Berggren.
GTUIT is now ready to solve the flaring problem in the rest of the world including Canada with Berg’s core chilling technology.
“Being able to move the equipment from one site to another as wells increase or decrease their production depending on their age, we can very nicely show Canadian operators that we’ve got a winning solution here,” said Berggren.
Canada and the U.S. agreed in March to reduce methane emissions from the oil and gas sector by 40 to 50 per cent by 2015.
“It’s right in line with some of the things operators are going to need to achieve and it helps get the regulators off of their back,” said Berggren.
“It’s a winning solution for everyone.“Berg and GTUIT are actively marketing the natural gas capture technology in Alberta to further cut methane emissions.
Associated gas including methane, produced as a byproduct of oil extraction, is typically regarded as an undesirable byproduct which is either re-injected, flared or vented.
In Saskatchewan, licensees must conserve associate gas at all licensed well and facility sites where the combined flaring and venting volumes are greater than 900 cubic metres a day.
Alberta has similar directives to control and regulate the volume of flare gas into the atmosphere that can help push the demand for the gas processing system.
GTUIT has recently entered into an agreement with Vancouver based Finning to operate the equipment of behalf of oil producers in B.C. Alberta and Saskatchewan.
Berg Chilling Systems showcased their technology at the Global Petroleum Show in Calgary.
It goes with their corporate profile as a custom designer and builder of industrial refrigeration equipment for a wide range of industrial processes.
“The product that we have is both mobile and scalable and it’s typically deployed right at the well site and more often than not it’s working on horizontal wells,”  said Berggren.
With the GTUIT systems, the gas stream goes through a flow control system and is compressed and processed by Berg’s mechanical refrigeration system causing the heavy liquids to a drop out.
Most of the hydrocarbon residue and water is removed.
“It can be sent down the well for artificial lift,” said Berggren.
“There’s all kinds of things you can do with that nice dry gas after we’ve stripped the heavy carbons off.”
By producing conditioned gas at the well site, that reduces capital and operating costs for power generation.
The bottom line for producers is less flaring while reducing their dependence on diesel fuel to operate equipment at remote sites.
“Everything little bit helps and this is a fabulous piece of that puzzle,” said Berggren.

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