Matagorda County company reduces flare gas and emissions


The Bay City Tribune reported “Local company reduces flare gas and emissions” Dec 16, 2015:

Matagorda County’s Gulf Coast Green Energy (GCGE) is reducing oil and gas flaring and emissions from flaring.

GCGE teamed up with Hess Corp, the Houston Advanced Research Center (HARC), the Environmentally Friendly Drilling Program (EFD), Texas A&M, and ElectraTherm Inc., to test the ElectraTherm Power+ Generator flare reduction system, at a Hess oil well in North Dakota.

The project captures the natural gas that would otherwise be flared to generate low emission electricity and reduce or eliminate onsite flaring by using the Power+ Generator.

“We’re capturing an excess fuel source that was being flared to the atmosphere and putting that fuel to use in the oil field,” said one Hess engineer.

Bay City Tribune

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Case for New Gas Capture Technology

The Bakken MagazineArticle excerpt from The BAKKEN magazine written by Patrick C. Miller 12/2/15:

When it comes to getting gas flaring under control in the Bakken, the idea that opposites attract might provide the best solution to what has become a constant issue for the oil and gas industry. An unlikely coalition of organizations has completed a successful test of a waste-heat-to-energy system that marries an old technology with a new one.

In mid-November, a demonstration project conducted by Environmentally Friendly Drilling—a Texas-based organization that includes major oil producers, research entities and environmental groups—was completed at a Hess Corp. well site in McKenzie County. The test system combined a low-tech industrial boiler with a high-tech generator that used produced gas to generate electricity.

PowerPlus installation at the Bakken

Power+ Generator installation at the HESS Inc. site. Photo by Environmentally Friendly Drilling Systems. It took 90 minutes to unload.

The system was developed by ElectraTherm Inc. of Reno, Nevada. The equipment was set up at the North Dakota well site and operated by Gulf Coast Green Energy, an ElectraTherm distributor headquartered in Bay City, Texas. Project funding was provided by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Research Partnership to Secure Energy for America program and the Houston Advanced Research Center through its EFD program.

Although the concept of using well-site gas to generate electricity isn’t new, ElectraTherm’s approach of using an industrial boiler paired with its Power-plus Generator is unique and has helped other industries such as landfills and waste water treatment facilities deal with their waste-gas problems. John Fox, ElectraTherm CEO, says the North Dakota test was the first time the company’s system was used in a gas-flaring operation.

“Lots of businesses have this same problem,” he says. “They don’t know what to do with waste methane gas. We can do something that’s not capital intensive by using industrial boilers to handle untreated gas. If there are fluctuations in the gas content or flow, the boiler doesn’t care.”

Read the article in its entirety here:

Article Highlights:

  • In addition, Fox says, “The emissions profile of the site is greatly improved, the power is consumed on site and the equipment is easy to install and maintain.”
  • Richard Haut, HARC program director for energy production, considers the demonstration a complete success.
    “I’m amazed at how well it’s gone,” he says. “The little amount of downtime we’ve had, for this being a pilot project and how well it’s functioned, it’s been first-class all the way through.”
  • Loy Sneary, CEO of GCGE, says that from his company’s perspective, the demonstration of ElectraTherm’s technology proved that it could work with Bakken gas with few problems and minimal involvement by the well-site operator…..Sneary “What surprised us is how little we needed to learn about what we’re doing,” he explains. “It’s not a complicated process; it’s fairly straightforward. The good news is that we didn’t find any issues that we weren’t able to remedy very quickly.”
  • The research project took place at a Hess well site in the Blue Buttes area on the south side of the Missouri River, northwest of Mandaree and east of Watford City. The remote location was in the heart of the Bakken where it makes the most economic sense to drill during the low-oil-price environment.


Emissions Study on Open FlaringClick here to view the full report prepared by Texas A&M/Institute of Renewable Natural Resources under HARC/EFD.

Watch a 5 min video on the highlights of the project and the ease of installation:

Iraqi delegation seeks flaring solutions in the Bakken


The Bakken MagazineArticle from Bakken Magazine written by Patrick C. Miller 10/28/15:

Officials with the Iraq Ministry of Oil and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) were in western North Dakota this week to study gas capture technologies and gas-powered electrical generation facilities.

Hamed Younis Saleh, Iraq’s deputy minister of gas affairs, and Hillal Ali Ismaeel Mushtaq, director of the general studies directorate, arrived in Bismarck on Monday. Accompanying them were Friedmann, Josh McKearin—a DOE international affairs specialist—and an American capital investor living in Iraq.

According to Julio Friedmann, DOE principal deputy assistant secretary for fossil energy, Iraq flares 1.2 billion cubic feet annually of associated gas from oil production because the country lacks the infrastructure to gather the gas and transport it to central power stations.

“They are developing the infrastructure, but it’s going to take time,” he said. “They’re seeking ways to bring their gas to market through power production. That will help their industry, their economy and it will help their government.”

technology for gas capture

On Wednesday, the group toured a gas capture research project at a Hess Corp. well site in the Blue Buttes area of McKenzie County being conducted by the Environmentally Friendly Drilling (EFD) Program run by the Houston Advance Research Center (HARC). Funding for the project was provided by DOE’s Research Partnership to Secure Energy for America (REPSEA) program and HARC.

The demonstration project uses a waste heat-to-power technology developed by ElectraTherm Inc. of Reno, Nevada. The company is collaborating on the project with Gulf Coast Green Energy (GCGE), an ElectraTherm distributor headquartered in Bay City, Texas.

Read more of this article published by The Bakken Magazine on 10/28/15 here:

Utilizing Waste Heat for Power


Excerpt from Diesel & Gas Turbine Worldwide in their October 2014 publication.

Continuous duty gen-sets provide base-load power generation in diverse applications around the globe. However, high fuel costs and engine maintenance are pain points felt by operators. A low-maintenance path to significant fuel savings and lower emissions is what the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) had in mind when they approached ElectraTherm to integrate the company’s Green Machine waste heat to power (WHP) generator with a 1.1 MW Cummins KTA-50 generator.

ElectraTherm’s Green Machine generator operates using a closed-loop ORC, where hot water is the fuel. Hot water from the engine enters a heat exchanger to excite (pressurize) the nonflammable, nontoxic working fluid, driving the twin-screw expander and generator to create electricity.  The company said its twin-screw expander is unique in its configuration, lubrication and specifications, but the core technology is based on decades of proven compressor technology. The twin-screw expander has a rotational speed of 1800 to 4900 r/min, considerably less than turboexpanders, according to ElectraTherm.  Unlike high-speed turboexpanders, screw expanders are robust units that tolerate “wet” dual-phase flow.

DOD ORC integration

The DOD-funded ORC integration and replacement project that will deploy later this year is comprised of two 40 ft (12 m) ISO shipping containers.

“This allows a very robust and cost-effective design for the Green Machine that can tolerate perturbations in both temperature and flow with turn down ratios of 6:1 available on demand,” said John Fox, CEO of ElectraTherm, Inc. “This is particularly advantageous in low temperature waste heat streams such as engine jacket water. Our Green Machine design is simplified and eliminates lubrication reservoirs, oil coolers, pumps and land filters, creating a simple, robust and efficient system with fewer parasitic loads and maintenance requirements.”

The Green Machine acts as the engine’s radiator, so the engine-driven radiator fans can actually be disconnected (or eliminated completely for a new installation), allowing more work to be performed by the engine to generate additional electricity. In effect, the engine’s waste heat becomes a source of cost savings by displacing the radiator’s capital cost and parasitic load.

Between the DOD project and the machines currently running in the field, ElectraTherm said it increases fuel efficiency up to 12%, depending on engine size and configuration, and site conditions while featuring simple installation, mobility and low maintenance.

To read the article in its entirety, visit this site:

or click on this icon for the PDF:

Utilizing Waste Heat for Power

Generator Range Powers Higher Output of Waste Heat-to-Power


One Mean Green Machine

Generator range powers higher output of waste heat-to-power; available in three configurations

ElectraTherm, specializing in distributed power generation from waste heat, has released its largest output machine, the Green Machine 4020.

Green Machine

The company said the Green Machine 4020 accepts higher input flows and can run in combined heat and power (CHP) mode where exit condensing temperatures are sufficient to feed district heating systems or industrial processes. The unit can pair with larger reciprocating engines sized greater than 800kW to increase both power output and efficiency, and opens market opportunities in natural gas compression and processing, ElectraTherm said.

Hot water enters the machine between 77 to 116°C and flow rates between 6.4 – 22.1 L/s, where it heats a working fluid into pressurized vapor. As the vapor expands, it drives a patented twin-screw power block, which spins an electric generator and produces up to 110 kWe. Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) condensing heat can be further utilized to supply 50-55°C water to local heating loads.

The Green Machine 4020 comes available in three configurations: a stand-alone Green Machine ORC at 2.4 x 1.8 x 2.2 m for the smallest footprint; a 6 m ISO frame for ease of installation and multiple condensing options; and the last turnkey package is available for plug and play installation and includes a liquid loop radiator, all piping/pumps and minimal engineering in a 12 m ISO frame.

Article posted in Diesel & Gas Turbine Worldwide, Jan 2014

Why Fracking’s Gusher of Geothermal Energy is Wasted


NPR’s State Impact featured Gulf Coast Green Energy under Energy and Environment Report for Texas

There are thousands of oil & gas wells in Texas that tap into the earth’s supply of hot water, some of it a boiling hot 250 F. There are modern, high tech steam engines that could use the water to make electricity. There was a federally-funded experimental power plant that proved the technology could work in Texas.

Yet, geothermal power has gotten a cold shoulder in the state.

RPSEA Denbury

RPSEA Denbury

“They made (the power plant) work, they proved it was successful, and then they dismantled it because they didn’t have funding to keep the project going,” said Maria Richards, a researcher at Southern Methodist University’s Geothermal Laboratory.

“The market I think is huge for this because the fact is, there are over 800,000 oil & gas wells in the United States. And there’s three million gallons per minute of hot water just in the top eight states,” said Loy Sneary, CEO of Gulf Coast Green Energy.

Sneary’s company has developed semi-truck-sized geothermal power plants that he said could provide electricity at drill and production sites. For example, in the Eagle Ford Shale region of South Texas where drilling is surging and where hot water is plentiful.

“The utilities are strapped and they’re stressed to be able to get enough power out to the oil & gas fields. With this equipment, power can be generated on-site,” said Sneary.

Read the entire story or listen to it online here:

When Black Turns to Green


Excerpt from The Permian Basin Petroleum Association Magazine:

The oil business has always been about turning black gold into green—but the shade of green has begun to change in the last few years. While still representing money, “green” is a term that now denotes a mindfulness of the environment. It’s a direction some in the industry are embracing, while others seem to be getting dragged along, leaving heel prints in the sand.

“Green” thinking takes many forms, including reduction of the volumes of fresh water used in fracturing and other procedures, as well as the practice of recapturing vented hydrocarbons, capture of waste heat, and use of compressed natural gas in fleets.

Green in Permian BasinJared Blong, president and CEO of Octane Energy, a drilling startup, is among those who are enthusiastic about greening up the oilfield. Blong, who is the son-in-law of recently deceased PBPA Chairman Mark Merritt, is a 33-year-old entrepreneur who sees himself as new enough to the industry to think outside the box yet savvy enough to know which green initiatives are as yet impractical. The common fallback statement, “We’ve always done it this way,” is Blong’s least favorite expression. “I live to make that statement sound foolish,” he declared. “We’ve got to start behaving differently if we want the public to continue to allow us to do what we do—instead of just feeling entitled as oilmen, which is our general propensity,” he added, with a chuckle.

Read the full article at:

PBOG – When Black Gold Turns to Green


The Permian Basin is gradually becoming a hatchery and laboratory for some forward-thinking green initiatives.

By Paul Wiseman

PBOG Magazine Cover When Black Gold Turns GreenThe oil business has always been about turning black gold into green—but the shade of green has begun to change in the last few years. While still representing money, “green” is a term that now denotes a mindfulness of the environment. It’s a direction some in the industry are embracing, while others seem to be getting dragged along, leaving heel prints in the sand.

“Green” thinking takes many forms, including reduction of the volumes of fresh water used in fracturing and other procedures, as well as the practice of recapturing vented hydrocarbons, capture of waste heat, and use of compressed natural gas in fleets.

Jared Blong, president and CEO of Octane Energy, a drilling startup, is among those who are enthusiastic about greening up the oilfield. Blong, who is the son-in-law of recently deceased PBPA Chairman Mark Merritt, is a 33-year-old entrepreneur who sees himself as new enough to the industry to think outside the box yet savvy enough to know which green initiatives are as yet impractical. The common fallback statement, “We’ve always done it this way,” is Blong’s least favorite expression. “I live to make that statement sound foolish,” he declared. “We’ve got to start behaving differently if we want the public to continue to allow us to do what we do—instead of just feeling entitled as oilmen, which is our general propensity,” he added, with a chuckle.

It was through his conversations with industry veteran Dr. Richard Erdlac, an expert in geothermal energy and other environmental concepts, that Blong learned of a way to capture waste heat and convert it to electricity. “When I heard that I said, well gosh… why hasn’t anybody ever done that before?”

Erdlac is connected with Gulf Coast Green Energy, based in Bay City, Texas, which markets a product called the Green Machine. The device, developed by ElectraTherm in Reno, Nev., collects waste heat from a variety of sources and uses that heat to generate electricity.

Basically, the Green Machine operates by transferring heat from a hot liquid, such as produced water or fluid from the radiator of a diesel generator, over a refrigerant whose boiling point is 53° F. The now-hot refrigerant turns the twin screws in an expander, which operates an induction generator. The incoming hot liquid is cooled in the process.

Octane Energy plans to use AC drilling rigs, which run 100 percent on electricity, all of which is generated on the well site by “almost locomotive-sized diesel engines running almost 24 hours a day,” as Blong describes it. The best diesel engines use only around 40 percent of the energy burned to do their work—the other 60 percent is ejected as heat. Blong wanted to recapture at least some of that other 60 percent, thereby reducing diesel fuel use and cutting CO2 emissions.

“What it looks like we’ll be able to do is to power all the ancillary trailers on the location, like the company man’s trailer, our pusher’s bunkhouse, and our crew houses,” he noted. “All of our jobs are camp jobs because the folks that we’re employing, we want to bring in from outside the Permian Basin because we’ve got a labor shortage.” Blong looks forward to furnishing electricity to those facilities for just the cost of the equipment.

He also believes that, because the producer is usually the one paying for these things, his company will be able to offer this as a value-added proposition for its own customers.

Octane is also looking at running a dual-fuel operation, which could use some wellhead gas to generate that electricity. This, in Blong’s view, would both keep the gas out of the atmosphere and save on the use of diesel in the generation process.

His vision in all this is to establish credibility as an environmentally sensitive company and to invite producers to join them in that vision. Heat capture, dual-fuel use, and other efforts do create an extra investment cost, but Blong feels it shows corporate responsibility and, “It’s the right thing to do.”

A startup, Octane plans to begin building rigs in the fourth quarter of 2013, to start drilling by the end of January 2014, and to have four more rigs operating by the end of 2014.

Meanwhile, Erdlac, no less a visionary himself, is excited about this and other uses for the Green Machine, especially its ability to generate electricity from flares. A typical unit generates 65-80 KW of electricity and, Erdlac noted, “A really large flare could require multiple units.”

Erdlac said there is interest in this technology but, as is common, people are hesitant to be early adopters. “We really need to get people off dead center on this,” he urged.

Read the full story at

Geothermal “Green Machine” Turns Waste Heat Into Energy


Posted: Wednesday, November 21, 2012 11:23 am | Updated: 11:26 am, Wed Nov 21, 2012.

By Paul Wiseman
Special to the Oil Report

A device called the “Green Machine” is turning waste heat from generator exhaust, gas compressors, produced water and other sources into electricity across Texas and as far away as the island of Cyprus.

Loy Sneary, president and CEO of Bay City, Texas-based Gulf Coast Green Energy, which markets the device in Texas and other Gulf states, said the company is looking into the feasibility of capturing heat from natural gas flares as well, although they have not yet field tested that procedure.

The Green Machine was developed seven or eight years ago by ElectraTherm, headquartered in Reno, Nevada. The heart of the machine is its twin screw expander, which operates in reverse of a twin screw compressor commonly used in natural gas transmission, Sneary explained. The expander was developed and patented by City University London’s Centre for Positive Displacement Compressors, which granted ElectraTherm the right to incorporate it into what became the Green Machine.

Its first test was conducted five years ago on boilers at SMU in Dallas. Originally set as a six-month test, the time period was extended to two years. Maria Richards, SMU Geothermal Laboratory coordinator, said the trial was extended for two reasons: It was deemed a success, and the school’s engineering students were able to work with the machine, learn how it worked and experiment with improvements.

The university would have bought a machine for permanent use but when the trial ended in 2008, the banking bust was in full swing. That reduced enrollment, cut the value of endowments and pushed the school to put a moratorium on any capital expenditures, including the Green Machine, said Richards.

For the apparatus to collect heat, a hot liquid is run across a heat exchanger filled with a refrigerant with a boiling point of 53° F. In the process of transferring the heat from the liquid, such as produced water, to the refrigerant, the liquid is cooled. The heated refrigerant then turns the twin screws in the expander, operating a generator that creates electricity.

Because the Green Machine uses an induction generator it cannot operate on a freestanding basis — it must tie into an existing power grid, whether from a utility or from an array of diesel generators on site. With the grid in place, Sneary noted, connecting the Green Machine is simple. “An electrician goes out there and it takes about 30 minutes — it’s three wires and a ground. He puts it into the main bus, and it just goes into the system.”

On a well producing 3,000-4,000 barrels of water at 200-270 degrees F, a Green Machine could make 65 kw/hour of electricity, “enough to power 60 homes,” according to Sneary.

The machine produces 480-volt three-phase power. Since most sites that use a Green Machine are in rural areas, the power mostly comes from cooperatives. These companies install dual meters on the pole, which monitor how much power is used and how much is generated onsite. Sneary said most sites use more power than the Green Machine can produce, so the producer pays the power company the difference.

While the payout period seems long at approximately four years, Sneary pointed out that the machine is designed to last 20 years and to be easily moved from site to site by a standard fork lift. He also recalled that the state’s power grid is expected to be strained over the next several years due to population growth, so any power reduction will help existing resources last longer.

On sites with diesel generators, Sneary said the machine could use exhaust heat and jacket water from those compressors to make more electricity, with the effect of making those generators more efficient.

At a natural gas compressor station the temperature of the gas, once compressed, often rises to 275° F, which is about twice the temperature allowed into the stream. By using a Green Machine, Sneary noted, a company would not only generate electricity, it would cool the gas down close to an acceptable temperature. They could then use the generated electricity to run the fans needed to cool the gas the rest of the way. Studies have shown they can reduce power used in this context by 80 percent. Gulf Coast is currently looking for a partner to let them test this procedure in the Permian Basin in a commercial application. Previous tests have been on a smaller scale.

Gulf Coast Green Energy has installations in the Eagle Ford Shale,  is running a pilot project on a gas compressor station  in north central Texas, and is looking to expand into the Permian Basin. The Basin expansion is the driving force behind the experiments with gas flares. To represent them in this area, the company has enlisted Dr. Richard Erdlac, a noted green energy expert.

Read more: Geothermal ‘Green Machine’ turns waste heat into electricity – Top Stories  
Under Creative Commons License: Attribution

Going Green: The Practical Payoffs of Geothermal Energy


Green Machine at SMU

Scientists say there’s enough wasted energy in Texas to power our lights for centuries. KERA’s Bill Zeeble reports on SMU researchers and a business who are turning waste heat from oil and gas wells into electricity.

The CEO of Gulf Coast Green Energy, Loy Sneary, says the profitable premise of his business is pretty simple. He says 60 percent of the world’s energy is in the form of waste heat. He wants to capture it from oil and gas well sites, then turn it into electricity.

Sneary: We’ve got more electricity that could be generated than all the coal fired power plants, natural gas fired power plants and nuclear power plants in the world. That’s what the potential is.

Sneary says there’s huge potential in Texas, thanks to thousands of oil and gas wells. Deep under ground, the earth is already hot. Drive a diamond drill down into hard rock or shale, and the bit gets even hotter. Liquid cools it. That’s where Sneary’s Green Machine comes in. Smaller than a compact car, the square box channels that abundant hot well water through one pipe that’s next to another filled with refrigerant. That refrigerant boils and the steam generates electricity.

Loy Sneary

Loy Sneary

Sneary: It’s not rocket science but it is cutting edge. It has a low boiling point. It’s around 54 degrees is when it starts boiling. So we can take these lower temperatures, hot water sources, transfer the heat, because the heat is going to go the cold source, right? And then once that refrigerant is expanded and pressurized, from there on it’s just like a steam turbine.

Last year, Sneary even connected his green machine to SMU’s boilers and converted the school’s wasted heat into electricity.

Sneary says his Green Energy machine can generate enough electricity to power up to 70 homes an hour, at about two cents a kilowatt hour. Southern Methodist University Geology professor David Blackwell says that’s just the beginning.

David Blackwell

Blackwell: That’s why there’s such a large potential for the application of these types of systems. Because the heat used at low temperature is enormous. So essentially it’s removing the amount of heat wasted into space and generating electrical power with it. So we’re increasing the overall efficiency of the system.

SMU’s Geothermal Lab Coordinator, Maria Richards, says her lab’s custom temperature maps help Sneary find hot spots he can tap. The school and company have partnered for several years.

Maria Richards: …There was really so much heat in the gulf coast. That made us realize that by working with the oil and gas wells, it was an ability to tap into those resources.

Loy Sneary: The research that the SMU Geothermal Lab has done has allowed us to target the areas where there is adequate heat in these oil and gas wells to be able to be utilized.

Maria Richards

Sneary is negotiating with drillers in Texas, has a project in West Virginia, and is looking at other states too. He says the technology is efficient and green, because it’s emission free. And given the growing number hot spots pinpointed by the geothermal map, he sees renewable energy sources for years to come.

Original article written by KERA News at  The audio interview can be heard at this link.