Wärtsilä's technology will likely contribute to increasing the utilization of associated gas for power generation.
In an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase access to electricity, the World Bank-led Global Gas Flaring Reduction partnership (GGFR) today officially welcomed Wärtsilä as the first associated partner to join the global effort to reduce the flaring or burning of natural gas associated to oil production.
Up until recently only oil-producing countries and companies were eligible to join the GGFR partnership. But a new GGFR charter now allows other relevant companies such as Wärtsilä, a technology provider, to join the partnership as an associated partner. An associated partner is neither an oil company nor an oil-producing country.
When drilling for crude oil, gas usually comes to the surface as well and is often vented or flared instead of used for private or commercial consumption due to various barriers such as lack of adequate infrastructure, markets or regulations. The World Bank-led partnership between governments and companies tries to overcome these challenges by jointly working to reduce the environmentally harmful waste of gas. The GGFR partnership estimates that globally some 150 billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas are flared or wasted every year, adding about 400 million tons of greenhouse gases in annual emissions.
"We welcome Wärtsilä as the first GGFR associated partner and look forward to working with them to increase access to much needed electricity in developing countries around the world," said Somit Varma, the World Bank Group's Director for Oil, Gas, Mining and Chemicals.
"Gas flaring harms the environment and wastes a valuable and cleaner resource that can be used for more productive purposes."
"We are proud to become an associated partner of the GGFR. If associated gas can be used in power generation instead of being flared into the atmosphere, an oil-field's emissions can be significantly reduced. At the same time, there are obvious economical benefits to be gained. As an associated partner of the GGFR, we will be able to contribute to reducing flaring through our know-how in power generation," says Vesa Riihimäki, Group Vice President, Wärtsilä Power Plants.
Through Wärtsilä's dual-fuel technology, associated gas can be converted to electricity and used for driving a compressor or a pump, instead of being continuously flared into the atmosphere. Wärtsilä's gas-diesel technology offers fuel flexibility, enabling the engines to run on any combination of liquid fuel and associated gas. This flexibility is essential for oil and gas companies operating in environments where the associated gas volumes are constantly changing.
GGFR is a public-private partnership of governments, state-owned companies and major international oil companies committed to reducing flaring and venting worldwide. The GGFR partnership facilitates and supports national efforts to use the associated gas that comes with oil production and thus reduce flaring, by tackling the lack of effective regulatory frameworks and the constraints on gas utilization, such as insufficient infrastructure and poor access to local and international energy markets, particularly in developing countries.