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Natural Gas Farms

Develop natural gas on site.
  [vote for,

Out here in the great ND, we have lots and lots of natural gas... being flared off because it is in the way of valuable oil. The oil companies claim that it is too expensive to harvest the natural gas, so they just burn it. The article linked below explains the problem, and also that the amount of natural gas wasted could heat 500,000 homes, coincidentally all of the homes in North Dakota.

If it is too expensive to harvest the gas, why not at least make use of some of the energy being wasted? Each flare could be replaced by a natural gas powered generator. Any excess gas could still be flared above the generator to reduce greenhouse gas pollution. The power from all of these generators could be combined like wind farms to augment the existing power grid. Obviously the oil companies won't want to do this, but the power companies could invest in it to reduce the cost of electricity. A natural gas powered generator should produce much more electricity than the average wind mill at lower cost.

DIYMatt, Sep 27 2011

Humanity is doomed. http://www.nytimes....he-sky.html?_r=1&hp
Enough gas to power the entire state of North Dakota, burned off. [DIYMatt, Sep 27 2011]

Trucking the methane around town. http://www.sdnews.c...s-methane-transport
[bungston, Sep 27 2011]


       The waste treatment facility here in San Diego also burned off gas until very recently. Now the gas is pumped into trucks and trucked to a different site to be burned. I conclude that it must be difficult to just rig a generator onsite and turn gas wherever you have it into electricity. The exact reasons why this is difficult are not clear to me. I am told the dump generates power onsite by burning biogas but I think this power is for their own use, not put back into the grid. Maybe the issues have to do with putting power into the grid.
bungston, Sep 27 2011

       I read 'way too expensive' simply as 'lack of imagination or will.'
RayfordSteele, Sep 27 2011

       Maybe if the government eliminates taxes on oil companies they will hire people to develop this natural gas. Then we will really emilinate our debt! Somehow.
DIYMatt, Sep 27 2011

       oh- at least it's not a fart farm...
xandram, Sep 27 2011

       I think it has something to do with the inconsistency of gas flow rates out of the well requiring impractical generator designs coupled with power loss over transmission lines and an eventually depleted source all amounting to a worthless investment.
daseva, Sep 27 2011

       If you read the article in detail, it mentions that the gas includes some hotter burning components that cause problems with standard natural gas generators.   

       An obvious solution is talked around in the article. Double the lease time if the driller converts 90%+ of the gas into electricity.
MechE, Sep 27 2011

       Just legislate.
MaxwellBuchanan, Sep 27 2011


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