Acid gas system helps planet, bottom line by Edson Leader, March 14, 2008
Not only is the Suncor South Rosevear Sour Gas Plant ultra modern, it has a state-of-the-art acid gas injection system, which means the facility does not emit sulphur dioxide (S02) or carbon dioxide (C02). “We started it about a year ago,” Suncor area superintendent Leroy Dixon said. With the injection system, Suncor South Rosevear was able to phase out the sulphur plant on the east side of the facility. The sulphur plant closed down on March 5, 2007. The acid injection system took nine months to build at a cost of $10.6 million, Dixon said.
The acid gas is then injected back into the ground — back into the formation(s) it originally came from, he added. Approximately 2.8 million standard cubic feet per day of acid gas has been injected into formations since the new system came on line, which equals an offset of about 85 tonnes of C02 a day, according to company officials. The acid gas injection technology compresses the hydrogen sulphide (H2S) and C02 that are removed from the inlet gas stream during processing.
The equipment then injects H2S and C02 back into an injection well site location 600 metres south of the plant. “It’s separated and reinjected back into the formation that it came from or predominately where it came from,” Dixon said. The South Rosevear facility processes about 70 million cubic feet of natural gas each day. … The gas plant draws on six formations in the region for its gas including Beaverhill Lake, the original field, as well as Viking and Rock Creek. The South Rosevear plant was built to handle sour gas, but more sweet gas has come onstream in recent years, as the percentage of sour gas has declined, Dixon said. The gas plant, a 24/7 operation, was built in 1979.
The district office employs 35 people in the area. About 10 of those work in the gas plant itself. Suncor drilled its first natural gas well in the Edson area in March of 1971. The company built the North Rosevear gas plant in 1976, and took over operations of South Rosevear in 1991 from Shell Canada. [Emphasis added]
[Refer also to:
Brief review of threats to Canada’s groundwater from the oil and gas industry’s methane migration and hydraulic fracturing
Tests showed that even when the most up-to date cement types and techniques are used, leakage can and will occur in a significant number of cases…. Numerous fields have accumulations of hydrogen sulfide that will eventually destroy the integrity of both the steel and cement relied upon to provide protection against gas migration…. The corrosive conditions of hydrogen sulfide are well known, and have defied engineering solutions…. [Emphasis added]
Potential for environmental impact due to acid gas leakage from wellbores at EOR injection sites near Zama Lake, Alberta ]