(687b) Geospatial Assessment of Waste Heat from Unconventional Oil and Gas Production
The U.S. Oil and gas industry has witnessed rapid growth in recent decade and is continuing to grow as drilling activities expand. Although boosting domestic energy industry, this fast growth in oil and gas production is accompanied with environmental sustainability challenges. For example, in some oil and gas production zones, excess gas is flared or vented directly to the atmosphere. This is because of not enough economic justification for landowners and operators to invest in expensive infrastructure required to handle the excess gas. Although relatively small fraction of the extracted energy is flared, it could be significant when the production time horizon of wells is considered. In recent years, restrictions and and regulations on flaring sites have led operators and researchers to find strategies for green completion such as condensing the gas via portable devices, reinjecting the gas, or utilizing it for power generation. There is a knowledge gap in our understanding of the quality, quantity, and location of available waste heat, and its potential beneficial uses. We present a geospatial evaluation, quantification, and visualization of the scale of the flared gas energy in the U.S., and assess its feasibility for various end uses. Using publicly available data, we develop comprehensive estimates of waste heat available for various unconventional oil and gas plays in the US. Sensitivity analysis is performed to study the impact of most influential parameters and their impact on available waste heat. The economic and environmental implications of these findings will be described.