Natural gas supply is undergoing a revolution thanks to cutting edge systems being deployed by Argentine company Galileo Technologies. CEO Osvaldo del Campo and his team have developed virtual pipeline equipment that enables the transport of gas directly from the well to main gas pipelines or to those who, due to lack of infrastructure, have thus far been denied the benefits of this cleaner burning fuel.
Major gas discoveries continue to build world reserves. Gas capture at the well head is becoming more efficient and upstream methane emissions are being addressed. In short, the future for natural gas as a fuel for transportation, industry, power generation and domestic supply is looking good. The International Energy Agency (IEA) says gas now makes up 22% of world energy consumed and the demand is predicted to grow at 1.6% for the next five years. “Natural gas is a versatile fuel and its growth is linked in part to its environmental benefits relative to other fossil fuels, particularly for air quality as well as greenhouse gas emissions.” (IEA)
Galileo’s sights are not on the major fields however, but on monetising the more remote and unconventional fields, traditionally hard to justify economically because of the cost of connecting to pipeline. The company has coined the phrase “Gas 3.0”, which in essence refers to 3rd generation gas distribution technology, enabling progression from the era of Gas 1.0–pipeline distribution and Gas 2.0–bulk shipment to what del Campo likes to call “The Age of Gas and LNG Distributed Production”.
Gas 3.0 – shifting the gas delivery paradigm
- The impact of climate change and the importance of energy cost in everyday life foster the need to find energy production and consumption alternatives to solve these problems.
- The recovery of gas from mature wells, the capture of flare gas, and abundance of shale and tight gas increase the value of natural gas as a source of clean energy.
- Besides, biomethane can be obtained from organic waste or renewable resources without affecting food markets or ecosystems.
- This dispersion and abundance of gas sources turns the laying of pipelines economically unsustainable for delivering gas to consumers.
Galileo’s distinctive Cryobox-Trailer stations liquefy natural gas at those wells which are not connected to pipelines or a gathering infrastructure, which LNG is then delivered to the end user by road transport for regasification and fuel supply.
Mendoza Power Plant
In Anchoris, in the Argentine province of Mendoza, Galileo built the first thermoelectric power plant fed by LNG sourced from previously abandoned wells that are not connected to any pipeline network. Operated by Methax, a Galileo Company, this is the first Gas-to-Power pipeline-free experience developed worldwide.
At its early stage, the new station will provide 41 megawatts (MW) to cover the needs of 125 thousand inhabitants. This non-diesel power generation will reduce CO2 emissions by 30%, using over 200 thousand cubic meters (m3/d) daily of natural gas which was previously off-system. Galileo is using 14 Cryobox-Trailer to produce LNG from stranded gas wells in the Malargue region in Mendoza to supply its plant. (See video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pfs2zMxm9gk)
The Anchoris power plant was chosen as the Project of the Year by the Mendoza Executives Association (AEM) during the XII Annual Prizegiving at the Hotel Intercontinental Mendoza on November 16. The prize was received by Horacio Pinasco, General Manager of Methax.
The award also honored Empresa Mendocina de Energía Sociedad Anónima (EMESA), the public sector company responsible for the concept of the project and for calling Galileo Group to steer the private funding and provide its LNG technology. The winners in every category were elected by the members present at the event, a process that was audited by PriceWaterhouse Coopers. (The AEM brings together more than 200 executives and company owners, representing all the productive sectors of Mendoza, from services to industry.)
Galileo’s virtual pipeline system reduces the investment required to perform gas gathering on geographically dispersed wells and gives the operator the possibility to sell gas directly to the consumer:
- The LNG Distributed Production Solutions are designed to condition every type of gas, to liquify it right at the source.
- Virtual Pipeline Systems increase their transport capacity by liquefying natural gas to LNG – more gas transported in the same route. The result: gas sources can connect to gas consumers at a lower cost than pipelines do.
- This matches fuel and diesel oil distribution logistics, without the need of refineries or special stations.
The trailers feeding the Mendoza power plant travel more than 400 kms from the wells.
Evolution an inherent component of Galileo’s business
Del Campo recently told Upstream, The International Oil & Gas Source: ““We started as a technology company 30 years ago and we have always worked on the development of new products. We invest a high percentage of our revenues in research and development, but we slowly started to become a services provider, which allowed us to expand our business, and now the services segment is the most important part of the company.”
Galileo is expected to end 2017 with $150 million in revenues, and Del Campo says the company is expanding at a rate of between 20% and 30% per year.
Source: Galileo Technologies – an NGV Global Sponsor Member