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Gas turbine Project in Africa
To connect Crude Oil fields to Gas power stations in three African countries.

I (we) am collecting information to develop a business model for our clients (investors). I do not have great knowledge about power generation. We need to harness flare gas by connecting crude oil fields to gas power stations. We need the technical computation based on the questions below in other to evaluate how much we can make out of an oil field. We estimated that an oil field can generate about 80M scf/day of natural gas (correct?). We are considering using the GE Jenbacher Gas turbines with max rating of 4.4 MW. My questions are:

-How many Gas turbines do we need to absorb the 80 Mio scf/d (is our assumption of 80Mscf/day correct?).

-What is the volume of gas needed at full capacity of the 4.4 Mw?

-What is the maximum flow rate of gas of the engines?

-What is the volume of Kwh max produce in one days per a 4.4? 106 Mwh par jour is that correct?

-What is the cost of the such engine?

-What is the cost of the yearly maintenance support?

-What is the cost of connecting the turbine to the gas pipe?

-What are the cost we should think about for running such a project?

-What are the waste rejected by the engine after- "combustion I suppose"

It would be most appreciated if this forum can help me.

By Bob Peterson on 28 August, 2012 - 8:37 am

I would suggest that an Internet forum is not an especially good place to gather the information you seem to be seeking. There are plenty of people you can hire to provide you with this kind of analysis. There are a lot of non-obvious factors on both the technical and business sides of this type of arrangement that are not readily done without paying someone competent to do the work.

The fact that you do not even know how much gas you are dealing with is a clue that you need professional assistance.

I would suggest some basic "back of the envelope" type numbers might help put things into perspective.

One SCF of natural gas is about 1000 BTU.

There are about 3412 BTU in a kw-hr.

If you have 80 MSCF per day of gas to burn that would give you about 1000 MW per day worth of energy to burn, unless I missed a decimal somewhere.

Depending on how efficient the generator is you could potentially run a 300 MW generator off 80 MSCF per day of gas.

It is hard to say whether the gas available is even usable in a gas turbine. It may need scrubbing of some sort first. It may be that the area you are in does not have the infrastructure to support even moderate scale electricity production.

There are probably hundreds of other questions that need to be asked and answered before a serious analysis can be made of this idea.

I second Bob Peterson's remarks and suggestion.

I'm also surprised to hear that the Jenbacher division of GE produces gas turbines. I thought they only produced large reciprocating engines (think large diesel engines).

And, having the infrastructure to support generation is critical. I started-up two 40 MW gas turbines (in different places in the world) where the connection to the state grid would not support 40 MW; one wouldn't even support 17 MW. Somehow, that became an OEM problem....

Lastly, not all flare gas is fit to burn as it comes out of the ground. Also, when it is fit to burn many times there needs to be compressors and storage tanks for flare gas to be stored in when the prime mover(s) is(are) not running.

I would suggest contacting GE Jenbacher directly for assistance with your project. Many OEMs these days have groups that can assess the sites and even provide design/build services as well as financing. GE Energy is keen to establish themselves on the African continent from their most recent corporate information. The problem with many large corporations like this is finding the right individual to talk to....

Let us know how this proceeds.

@ Bob, CSA, Otis and Zach.... thanks for your very useful comments. My mistake, the GE Jenbacher is actually a reciprocating engine, but I understand it can run on variety of fuel. I would like your input on how to get to the experts. My email is [daveani2000] at [yahoo] dot [com].



I fully agree with your comments about getting some expert advice. I have one comment on your "back of the envelope" type numbers:

You may be a factor of 1000 too high in your estimate of the energy available. I believe "MSCF" is 1,000 SCF (not 1,000,000 SCF). So 80,000 SCF is about 80,000,000 BTU, or about 24,000 kw-hr, which is more like 1 MW running 24 hours a day; or with 30% thermal efficiency, maybe 300 KW output from the generator. Maybe a diesel would be a better choice than a gas turbine.

By Zacharia, Tomy on 29 August, 2012 - 1:44 am

My 2 paise,

All the relevant points have been covered, scrubbing of gas, compression, storage etc. One more thing, do consider the use of spark ignition gas engines. They might turn out to be more economical in the long run.

Tomy Zacharia

By ops engineer on 30 August, 2012 - 3:03 pm

My question is related about gas turbine operation.

What will be the effect of gas temperature on gas turbine output and GT efficiency?. (i.e. if we heat natural gas from 60 degree F to 120 degree F before gas enter into combustors).


Here are a couple of sites that came up when I typed

"GE Energy Africa" (with quotation marks)

into my preferred Internet search engine:

(Remove any spaces inserted by the forum software when pasting into your web browser.)

I don't recall from my reading of recent GE press releases exactly where their African continent headquarters is located. But, you should be able to make contact with their Sales division through either of those URLs and begin your journey through working with GE. Their Oil & Gas organization, headquartered in Firenze, Italy, probably has a fair amount of experience with flare gas applications, but that's primarily gas turbine-related. I'm sure the Jenbacher division has experience, also.

Again (and I'm promoting this because I own far too many shares of GE, the price of which has been depressed for too long), GE Energy has a financial arm that assists with financing for such projects--kind of a "one-stop shop" for your energy needs!

Best of luck with your endeavour. I remember seeing the flares of one African delta region years ago and thinking about how much energy was being lost. (Of course, similar things happened in most oil fields in countries around the world before it was learned how to deal with the, then, unwanted gas that came out of the ground with the oil.)

Thank you CSA. Very useful. If you have any that can be contacted directly, it would be most welcomed.