If you’ve made the investment in a vapor recovery unit (VRU), you’ve decided that recovering rich flash gas is preferable to seeing it go up in smoke via the on-site flare or combustor. Here at EcoVapor we agree with that call. However, too many VRUs either aren’t running or are recovering only a portion of the flash gas for one simple reason – entrained oxygen. And so the companies that purchased or leased those VRUs aren’t getting the return on investment that was anticipated when the AFE was written.
Atmospheric oil storage tanks, regardless of the operator’s efforts to prevent it, will eventually contain oxygen. Sometimes other production vessels will also contain oxygen, too. For a long time this didn’t matter as flash gas was either vented to the atmosphere or pipeline oxygen specifications were so high that injecting O2 didn’t raise alarms. Well, flash gas can no longer be vented and pipeline oxygen limits seem to be dropping every month. While many pipelines have now set their limit at 10 ppm O2, some are at 8, others at 6, and at least one is at 0 ppm.
So simply pulling gas off of an oil storage tank is going to be problematic with these new low O2 specifications. Vapor Recovery Towers (VRTs) have been the “go to” solution for several years, but have limitations with cold weather, paraffin, and production surges. Additionally, their higher operating pressures and short retention time leaves gas entrained in the oil that comes out of solution in the tanks, requiring flares or combustors to continually burn it off. VRTs are like old cell phones – they still work but new technology is passing them by.
What’s the solution? Let’s go back to the core issue – entrained oxygen. If that was taken out of the picture, the VRUs could do what they were originally designed to do – pull gas directly from the tanks, keep tank pressures low, and recover all of the gas (the richest gas), and minimize emissions.
EcoVapor’s new Zero2 systems are designed to do one thing, and do it really well – remove oxygen entrained in natural gas. ZerO2 systems are all electric, have small 4’x4’ footprint, are simple to operate, have no moving parts, and require very little maintenance. Gas-fueled systems will available later this year. Our ZerO2 systems are designed to work with most VRU brands, including Flogistix, Aereon, HyBon, Cimarron, and others.

By | 2018-03-23T15:18:25+00:00 March 23rd, 2018|Education|