Piñon Midstream’s greenfield sour gas treatment and carbon capture facility in New Mexico is near its initial capacity to produce a cleaner natural gas that providers can sell, and the company is installing its second facility.
The Houston-based company’s facility captures and permanently sequesters carbon dioxide (CO2) and hydrogen sulfide (H2S) from natural gas and redelivers sweet gas to third-party midstream operators. Piñon Midstream says the initial capacity of the sweet gas has been fully subscribed by midstream operators. The Dark Horse Facility, which is in Lea County, N.M., had an initial capacity of 85 million cubic feet per day of sour natural gas.
Sweet gas has little or no H2S, which is considered undesirable due to its toxicity and can be corrosive to metals used in gas production and transportation. By removing the CO2 and H2S the natural gas is then more desirable for use by other operators.
Piñon Midstream says the contaminants are common in the oil-rich Delaware Basin where the facilities are located.
“The producers in our area have had a dire need for a long-term and environmentally friendly solution to the extreme acid gas concentrations that have previously challenged the region,” Piñon Midstream Co-Founder and President Steven Green says. “By removing and sequestering these gases, the Dark Horse Facility makes it possible for operators to realize a single-source solution to CO2 and H2S contaminants that are prevalent throughout the basin.”
Piñon Midstream says when the high concentrations of the greenhouse gases are sequestered into the well they won’t enter another pipeline or be vented into the atmosphere.
Such efforts come at a time when there us uncertainty in the fuel and natural gas industries. Natural gas prices are at their highest since 2014 and production has natural gas supplies down 5% over a five-year average. Additionally, many big gas and oil producers, such as Chevron and BP, are attempting to lower their carbon footprints.
Piñon Midstream’s second treatment facility is expected to be completed this month, the company says, and will have a sour gas capacity of approximately 170 million cubic feet per day.
The facilities include New Mexico’s deepest and largest acid gas injection well, the company says. The well is 18,000 feet deep and the facility has 30 miles of high-pressure gathering and redelivery pipelines. The facility can be expanded to treat up to 400 million cubic feet a day of sour gas.
The first well has the capacity to permanently sequester up to 175,000 tons of CO2 and 75,000 tons of H2S each year. The company is also adding a second well that will be completed in 2022 and says that capacity for the CO2 and H2S removal will double when it is completed.