Sunday, November 29, 2009

Flaring Hurts my Brain

I just read an article that the Mexican government has ordered state-owned energy company Pemex to cut way back on flaring gas from its oil fields.  Flaring is the act of burning off gas that is extracted along with oil when there is no use for the gas. In Mexico's case, its large Cantarell Field doesn't have gas treatment facilities, so it burns off one billion cubic feet per day (1 Bcf/day).  Think of that volume of gas - it's enormous.  In some places natural gas is an annoyance.  In Alaska, for instance, there is no way to get much of that gas to the Lower 48 - that's why the state is working on the AGIA pipeline. 

Mexico shouldn't have that same problem.  It seems to me if  you're flaring the equivalent "street value" of $3.1 billion per year, you can afford to build gas treatment and transportation infrastructure.  The only reason it has become an issue now is because it is one of the leading causes of greenhouse gas emissions in Mexico. 

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