Spartan Controls established a wholly owned subsidiary named REM Technology in the mid 1990’s to develop engine control management systems. Their REMVue engine management system is the basic building block required for the addition of their SlipStream® system. SlipStream® uses vented and flared natural gas emissions as supplementary engine fuel. The technology thus reduces the emissions at a site by burning these vented and flared gasses in the engine. Replaced fuel consumption can be allocated to increased sales or reduced reserve depletion. REM Technology limits the volume of supplementary fuel to 50% of the primary fuel at this time. The technology is considered proprietary by REM Technology. Our primary focus in this study is to evaluate the REMVue SlipStream® system and its benefits to industry and the public.
The systems adapt to changes in fuel quality and operating conditions and maintain the engine manufacturers’ original operating parameters. A need for third party verification was identified to validate the operation of the SlipStream® system. It was also necessary to qualify the various sources of vented and flared emissions that could be used as supplementary fuel sources through the SlipStream® system.
The sources and volume of supplementary fuel are estimated to determine the impact that the technology could have on the upstream oil and gas industry. Field tests for the various sources and the industry estimates are compared to qualify our findings. PTAC
(Petroleum Technology Alliance Canada, a not-for-profit organization) organized funding for the initiative with a goal to produce a document suitable to prove the technology and assess its potential impact when applied in the upstream oil and gas industry.
We wished to qualify the operation of the proprietary SlipStream® control and the affect of the system on greenhouse gas emissions at five pilot sites. The technology may be installed on any four cycle natural gas-fueled stationary engine. The reduction in vented and flared emissions translates directly into comparable reductions in emissions of CO2.
SlipStream® is an effective means of significantly reducing GHG emissions of CO2 and methane. The REMVue engine management working with the SlipStream® systems allowed the introduction of the supplementary fuels while maintaining full system adaptive control. Primary fuel consumption was reduced between 1% and 17% at the
pilot sites we surveyed.
The economics of installing a Slipstream system is presented with a sensitivity analysis.
The analysis shows that a positive contribution to earnings will be achieved by using waste gasses for natural gas engine fuel replacement. The economics are positive even when the volume of supplementary fuel is relatively low. Our representative economic analysis determined that cost recovery is normally achieved in less than two years and the internal rate of return is well in excess of 50%.
Application of the SlipStream® technology on the upstream oil and gas industry provided an estimated potential for reduced fuel gas consumption of about 1.3 million 103m3/yr (or 1.3 billion m3/yr) with an associated reduction of about 14.4 million Tonnes CO2e. Industry data and estimates of waste gas losses were conducted to identify how much potential for SlipStream application is available. A decision tree was employed to decide if a waste gas is suitable for SlipStream application.