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EERC - Demonstration of Gas-Powered Drilling Operations


Author: Grant E. Dunham, Thomas A. Doll, Chad A. Wocken

Page Count: 231

Source:  Energy & Environmental Research Center (EERC), an agency of the University of North Dakota.

From the Document:

This report summarizes the results of the demonstration project, including an assessment of engine performance, diesel fuel savings, and the impact on engine emissions. The results of the 47-day demonstration project illustrated that utilizing wellhead gas in bifuel applications to power a drilling rig can lead to an overall decrease in diesel fuel use, fuel cost, and truck transport of liquid fuel, without adversely impacting drilling operations. The specific results from this project included fuel-related cost savings of nearly $60,000 due to the lower value of wellhead gas relative to diesel and an increase in overall air emissions compared to diesel-only engine operation. If implemented broadly across the Williston Basin, bifuel operation of nearly 200 drilling rigs using otherwise flared wellhead gas could result in:

  1. 1,800,000 Mcf wellhead gas used to power drilling rigs in 1 year (2% of currently flared wellhead gas).
  2. 18,000,000 gallons of diesel fuel saved in 1 year.
  3. $72,000,000 diesel fuel costs saved in 1 year.
  4. 3600 fuel delivery trucks (5000-gallon tanker) avoided in 1 year.
  5. Air emission reduction can be achieved using commercially available diesel engine exhaust gas treatment (catalytic conversion).

These technologies are capable of reducing CO and nonmethane hydrocarbon emissions in bifuel-operated engines to levels similar to 100% diesel-only operation. This subtask was funded through the EERC–DOE Joint Program on Research and Development for Fossil Energy-Related Resources Cooperative Agreement No. DE-FC26- 08NT43291. Cash nonfederal funding was provided by NDIC.