After carbon dioxide, methane is the most important greenhouse gas contributing to climate change. With an increasing focus on methane, operators are seeking to manage their flare activity to understand and reduce their methane emissions. The combustion efficiency of the flare is key to understanding how much unburnt methane is emitted but without an accurate calculation method Operators have typically used a default combustion efficiency of 98% (2% unburnt). In many cases, this over-estimates the methane emissions and Operators are seeking to better quantify them.
Accord have developed Combustor - a dynamic process simulation model, based on recent academic papers, that will allow oil and gas operators to calculate combustion efficiency to monitor and improve the efficiency of their flaring operations — thereby reducing their overall CO2e emissions. Combustor can be configured to calculate a minute-by-minute combustion efficiency giving a near real-time view of the methane, CO2 and CO2e emissions.
Working with a range of North Sea Operators and supported by the Net Zero Technology Centre (NZTC), this project is a fine example of the innovative approach we take — building upon the success of one good idea to realise another, and helping support operators as they pursue Net Zero targets in an industry that increasingly understands the importance of reducing methane emissions alongside CO2.
Powered by CHARM, Combustor will predict flare gas properties required to calculate combustion efficiency accurately. The efficiency calculation is transparent, peer-reviewed and referenced in OGMP 2.0 and the OGUK Methane Action Plan. Using the CHARM architecture, the calculations can be easily integrated into existing monitoring and control systems. This software solution provides significantly improved data on methane and overall CO2e emissions without the need for any on-site physical installations or additional metering.
Methane has 84 times the global warming potential of CO2 over 20 years
Operators collaborated with Accord on the NZTC project to develop Combustor
Default combustion efficiency used by Operators when reporting flare emissions. Combustor helps Operators understand and optimise the real efficiency.
Combustor — At a Glance
Combustor’s combustion efficiency prediction is based on pioneering work done by research specialists at the University of Alberta, Canada.
Net Zero Targeted
Combustor applies the process modelling functionality of CHARM to flare efficiency, offering operators vital opportunities to reduce and control their emissions.
Based on the CHARM architecture, Combustor adheres to industry standards, with easily-maintained XML-based interfaces to ensure ongoing compatibility with existing and future systems, including flare measurement and plant control systems.
Utilising the functionality already delivered by CHARM, the flare composition can be accurately predicted, eliminating the requirement for expensive sampling or online chromats.
Calculating combustion efficiency using Combustor delivers results based on a proven model without the need for direct measurement.
Optimising Flaring Operations
With real-time calculation of combustion efficiency, Operators can optimise flaring activity to minimise overall emissions.
Valuable Insight for Emissions Trading
The North Sea Transition Authority (NSTA) updated their Flaring and Venting Guidance in June 2021 and recognise that flare combustion efficiency plays a key role in minimising greenhouse gas emissions resulting from flare activity. The NSTA Guidance states that “Operators should meter, monitor and manage their flare gas composition and flare combustion efficiency to ensure minimum greenhouse gas emissions resulting from flare activity”.
Combustor provides operators with an online, live calculation of combustion efficiency, and provides control feedback which can be used to improve the combustion efficiency of flaring operations and thereby reduce the overall emission rates of CO2 and Methane. As emissions legislation evolves, Combustor will be a vital tool, providing valuable insight and informing key business decision-making, particularly with regard to participation in ‘cap and trade’ systems.