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RA Energy Solutions

The Methane Problem and the Promise of Compressed Air

For decades, the oil and gas industry has relied on pneumatic controllers powered by natural gas to regulate valves and equipment in the natural gas extraction process. However, these systems have an inherent flaw: they continuously leak methane gas upon actuation, releasing harmful emissions at multiple points. Now, the EPA is increasing monitoring and enforcement of the reduction of methane emissions in the oil and gas industry with stringent newly enacted regulations. As the government enforces these tighter regulations around reporting and mitigating environmentally harmful methane leaks, organizations need innovative solutions.

That’s where compressed air comes in. By switching to controllers powered by compressed air delivered underground via RapidAir MaxLine piping, the leakage caused by pneumatic controllers can be entirely circumvented. This solution entirely eliminates methane leaks from pneumatic controller equipment, removing the need for emissions tracking and freeing up resources.

How Compressed Air Stacks Up

So how exactly does compressed air enhance performance while meeting regulations? Let’s explore the technology and its implications.

Compressed air offers a sustainable upgrade by delivering clean air through buried semi-flexible MaxLine piping for compressed air connected to an air compressor instead of leaky pneumatic devices.

Learn more about the pros of this solution and its usage by modern-day oil and gas corporations in this RapidAir-authored article featured in Plant Engineering.

More Than Just Emissions: A Valuable Upgrade

While curbing methane is crucial, compressed air also unlocks financial, productivity and safety incentives. These advantages include:

  • The capture of more gas to sell: Leakage through traditional pneumatic controllers represents valuable product being lost into the atmosphere. With compressed air, that product is conserved for sale.
  • Earning valuable carbon credits: Lowering emissions creates opportunities to benefit from the emerging carbon credit industry.
  • Productivity Enhancement: With less reporting bureaucracy, personnel resources are freed up.
  • Operational Safety: Underground semi-flexible tubing avoids risky air leaks.
  • Rapid ROI: The system, and its direct downstream benefits, pay for itself within just one year.

Delve into the clear advantages and rapid ROI of switching to compressed air in our white paper.

Proof in Practice: Successful Implementations

Industry leaders have adopted compressed air systems across their operations, and it’s paying off. A top 20 U.S. natural gas producer switched sites from pneumatics to compressed air via durable HDPE MaxLine tubing. This change enhanced sustainability reporting while recouping costs quickly.

The numbers and use cases show that compressed air unlocks environmental, financial and operational incentives. Learn more about the real-life application of switching to compressed air in this RapidAir-authored Plant Engineering article.

The Future of Natural Gas Extraction

As the regulatory landscape evolves, compressed air systems represent a best practice and viable alternative for the oil and gas sector. By cost-effectively eliminating methane leaks, as well as time-consuming and hazardous manual labor, the technology will sustain the industry for the long haul.

Learn more using the following resources:

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