RasGas Sustainability Report: Absolute Emissions Jump 13%
From 2010 to 2011 Qatar-based liquified natural gas producer RasGas’s absolute and normalized greenhouse gas emissions increased 13 percent and 1.7 percent respectively, according to its 2011 sustainability report.
In 2011 the company produced 18.8 million tonnes of greenhouse gas equivalent compared to 16.8 million tonnes in 2010. RasGas’s normalized greenhouse gas emissions rose from 0.510 to 0.519 tonnes of greenhouse gas per tonne of LNG produced over the same time period.
RasGas says that a number of factors contributed to the increased level of absolute emissions, such as higher reported emissions from flaring due to the introduction of a new reporting basis which includes emissions related to jetty storage tank and flaring operations.
The marginal increase in the normalized emissions metric is better than the industry average RasGas says. The companies performance was ranked third out of the 11 companies in the 2011 benchmark, the report says.
RasGas generates its own power using fuel gas-driven turbine generators and also sources a small proportion – less than 6 per cent – of its energy as imported electricity from the national grid. Most of the energy used on the plant is for compression to liquefy gases for transportation as well as separation of the intake gas received from offshore operations to produce the RasGas range of products.
As it generates the lion’s share of it energy itself, RasGas measures it energy efficiency based on the percentage of gas intake used to generate power. From 2010 to 2011 the proportion of the company’s gas intake used for energy generation rose from 8.2 percent to 8.6 percent, above the industry average of 8.5 percent. Last year was the first year RasGas has underperformed the industry average since at least 2006 -the earliest year the report includes figures for. It ranks 7th out of the 11 industry producers included in the ranking.
Energy-efficiency initiatives carried out in 2011 included the launch of a steam trap-monitoring program using infrared camera technology to detect leaks of steam in process equipment. Detecting and eliminating such leaks saves energy, water and reduced CO2 emissions. It can also improve operational efficiency, the company says.
The total volume of waste from RasGas’ operations increased in 2011 to 5,544 tonnes, an increase of 14 per cent on 2010. However, total waste disposed per million tonnes of total intake was the best in the industry benchmarking comparison.
The percentage of that waste that RasGas recycled dropped year-on-year from 50 percent in 2010 to 43 percent in 2011. (see chart, below) In 2009 RasGas recycled 65 percent of its total waste. That year saw RasGas’ launch its corporate waste management program – a “cradle-to-grave framework” for waste minimization, collection, treatment, storage, reuse, recycling and final disposal, according to the report.
In 2011 the company installed new waste collection points at its plant thast it hopes will improve the collection, segregation and containment of waste. The roll-out of a new waste information system was also completed, which RasGas says enables automated waste identification, collection, record and report generation using a web-based database and hand-held tablets.
RasGas’ water discharges remained fairly static at around 4 million tonnes per day. The company calls water management an increasingly important issue in the oil and gas industry, and in particular the use of fresh water in operations. This is especially sensitive in regions and countries such as Qatar, where fresh water resources are scarce, RasGas says. The company’s primary water source is sea water.
LNG is becoming an increasingly important source of cheap energy. A report released in June by the US Energy Information Administration showed coal generation decreased 29 billion kWh from March 2011 to March 2012, while natural generation increased 27 billion kWh during the same period. The share of electricity generated from coal-fired power plants dropped to 34 percent in March, the lowest level in at least 39 years, as LNG prices hit 10-year lows, the report showed.
The shift to cleaner-burning fuels like natural gas has helped public power systems reduce carbon dioxide emissions 2.4 percent since 2001, despite a 9.4 percent increase in power generation, according to a May report by Target Rock Advisors.
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