Exploration and Production Technologies
Distributed Gas Sweetening for Mature Fields


This project will be concerned primarily with technology development (2 major items) that enables an advanced, novel process to be used at small-scale oil production sites. The Distributed Gas Sweetening process has passed through the preliminary design and analysis stages in FY2005. It is compelling because it utilizes low-quality gas, such as sour associated gas, to generate clean electricity and simultaneously capture high-temperature and high-pressure steam/carbon dioxide mixtures for reservoir flooding. However, prior to continuing this work, a market study is required to identify market segments, potential production volumes, and cost figures associated with the process. The experimental portions of this project’s work will be accomplished through collaborations with other NETL research groups and/or RDS (a NETL contractor) tasks.

National Energy Technology Laboratory 
Morgantown, WV

Expected achievements of this project include collaboration with existing DOE-funded projects using microturbines on flared waste gas, initial work on membrane reactions for a Distributed Fuel Sweetening Process, and a market study and cost analysis for utilization of a Distributed Fuel Sweetening Process on a lease.

This project strives to support smaller independents that lack the necessary research resources to apply untried or unfamiliar technological approaches that potentially could improve their economic viability.

This work started as a Technology Development with Independents Program in FY2004 and FY2005. The focus was to provide technology transfer of NETL in-house microturbine and gas processing work. The objective was to assist a small independent in utilizing low-quality lease gas for onsite power applications.

Project tasks for FY2006 include:

  • Collaborating with DOE-funded work utilizing microturbines on flared waste gas and reviewing the economics of distributed generation of offgases.
  • Initiating membrane reaction development for a Distributed Gas Sweetening process.
  • Performing a market study of Distributed Gas Sweetening.

Current Status (July 2006) 
Researchers reports that the market study for Distributed Gas Sweetening has been accomplished. Documentation fro this activity has not been delivered as of yet.

Project Start: November 1, 2003 
Project End: September 30, 2006

Anticipated DOE Contribution: $445,000

Contact Information 
NETL – Sue Mehlhoff (sue.mehlhoff@netl.doe.gov or 918-699-2044) 
NETL – Dave Lyons (Kenneth.Lyons@netl.doe.gov or 304-285-4379)