Natural Gas Flaring vs. Capturing

Natural gas flaring is a method oil and gas producers use to reduce atmospheric emissions.

In recent years, companies are more and more looking for methods to capture fugitive natural gas.

What Natural Gas Flaring Is

Oil and gas wells produce three primary elements: water, crude oil, and natural gas.

Companies dispose of or recycle the water. They process and sell the oil. Then they process the natural gas out and sell, capture, store, or flare it.

Producers flare natural gas when there is not sufficient piping, equipment, or infrastructure available to route it to sales.

How it works: On a site, the setting up of a flare tower occurs. Once natural gas is separated from the production fluid and can no longer be sent to the sales line, it is piped to the flare tower. Here a pilot light ignites the gas.

Flaring eliminates several volatile organic compounds “VOCs”from the gas stream. While flaring is effective at this, it does not eliminate all emissions.

Because of this, many companies are exploring vapor recovery options.

How to Capture Natural Gas

Producers can use Vapor Recovery Towers and Vapor Recovery Units to capture natural gas off of their production fluid. 

A Vapor Recovery Tower (VRT) is a pressure vessel designed to capture the vapor and typically installed production separators and storage tanks. 

A Vapor Recovery Unit (VRU) is a specialized compression package that captures low pressure, wet gas streams from oil and condensate storage tanks.

For more information about these vessels and how we can help you control emissions, contact your local Kimray store or authorized distributor.


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Kyle Andrews serves as an Account Manager at Kimray. He provides Kimray product training and works with producers to identify project solutions.