Qatar Petroleum has laid out its ambition for ‘Zero Routine Flaring’ by 2030 in QP’s offshore operations and absolute minimum technically feasible flaring (including non-routine flaring) in its onshore operations.
In terms of flare reduction, QP said it takes an “integrated approach to flaring reduction, with a focus on enhancing operations performance through improvements in operational practices and process control to improve process stability as well as implementing projects.”
In its latest Sustainability Report, QP said it launched a flaring mitigation initiative in 2012 for its non-operating facilities in Ras Laffan Industrial city (RLIC).
Notable initiatives also include incorporation of a passing valves monitoring programme to abate fugitive losses as well as implementing projects to enable fuel gas to recycle and reuse during plant shutdowns and start-ups and reduction of fuel gas in flare purge applications.
In 2014, QP commissioned the jetty boil off gas (JBOG) facility in Ras Laffan to recover boil-off gas during LNG loading. This project is the world’s largest jetty boil-off gas recovery facility. Overall, such initiatives have resulted in successfully reducing the flaring in upstream operating companies in RLIC by approximately 70% for its on-plot facilities, and greater than 90% at the LNG loading area.
A total investment of over $900mn was dedicated to the flare reduction initiative between 2012 and 2018, QP noted.
QP continues to maintain a robust flare management programme with targets for continual improvement in flaring reduction. Over the years, this programme has succeeded in significantly reducing the flaring intensity of its LNG facilities to 0.38% of sweet gas production in 2019.
Moving forward, the plan is to consider collective flare reduction projects between assets and evaluation of best available technologies to reduce flaring to the absolute minimum technically feasible.
QP started rolling out the same initiative to the downstream operating companies’ facilities, leveraging the expertise already gained in the upstream business during the past years.
Within its LNG operations, QP has identified further opportunities for flare reduction through recycle and reuse of fuel gas flared due to routine plant pressure dynamics. Conceptual solutions have been developed and are now at the front-end engineering design (FEED) stage.
“We are currently planning to extend our efforts to meet zero routine flaring by 2030 for our offshore facilities. Our long-term aim is to go a step further, reducing flaring in our onshore facilities to the absolute minimum technically feasible, which will cover non-routine flaring as well,” QP said.
A $170mn investment is fully committed from 2018 until 2021 and will result in a 50% reduction in our flare intensity across Qatar, followed by potential projects to reach the absolute minimum technically feasible flaring in Qatar.
Along with CO2 and N2O, methane is considered the second most damaging GHG causing global warming. Methane has a shorter lifespan in the atmosphere than CO2, but is more potent and has a higher global warming potential.
A key part of QP’s climate focus going forward is to track and reduce methane emissions throughout all stages of the natural gas value chain and in all facilities. QP signed a set of guiding principles on reducing methane emissions across the natural gas value chain stretching from production to the final consumer on 22nd March 2018.
The principles aim to continuously curb methane emissions, stimulate strong performance across gas value chains, enhance the accuracy of methane emissions data, advance sound policies and regulations on methane emissions, and to increase transparency.
In 2019, we launched the methane focused smart leak detection and repair programme (LDAR) in all upstream and downstream facilities, using advanced optical gas imaging (OGI) camera technology to survey and detect the leaks quickly and efficiently. This programme also provides best-in-class guidelines for unified LDAR standards for consistent and accurate reporting of methane emissions following international standards.