Associated petroleum gas

Associated petroleum gas

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Associated petroleum gas (APG), also known as flare gas or associated gas, is a form of natural gas
Natural gas
Natural gas is a naturally occurring gas mixture consisting primarily of methane, typically with 0–20% higher hydrocarbons . It is found associated with other hydrocarbon fuel, in coal beds, as methane clathrates, and is an important fuel source and a major feedstock for fertilizers.Most natural...

, which is commonly found associated with deposits of petroleum
Petroleum or crude oil is a naturally occurring, flammable liquid consisting of a complex mixture of hydrocarbons of various molecular weights and other liquid organic compounds, that are found in geologic formations beneath the Earth's surface. Petroleum is recovered mostly through oil drilling...


Historically, this type of gas is released as a waste product from the petroleum extraction industry. Due to the remote location of many oil fields, either at sea or in land, this gas is simply burnt off in gas flare
Gas flare
A gas flare, alternatively known as a flare stack, is an elevated vertical conveyance found accompanying the presence of oil wells, gas wells, rigs, refineries, chemical plants, natural gas plants, and landfills....


However, the gas can, after processing, be utilised in a number of ways: be included in the natural gas distribution networks, used for on-site electricity generation with engine
Gas engine
A gas engine means an engine running on a gas, such as coal gas, producer gas biogas, landfill gas, or natural gas. In the UK, the term is unambiguous...

s or turbine
Gas turbine
A gas turbine, also called a combustion turbine, is a type of internal combustion engine. It has an upstream rotating compressor coupled to a downstream turbine, and a combustion chamber in-between....

s, reinjected for enhanced oil recovery, or used as
feedstock for the petrochemical industry.

Russia is the world leader in the flaring of APG, and flares 30% of the total APG flared globally.

The flaring of APG is controversial as it may be a pollutant and is a waste of a valuable fuel source. APG is flared in many countries where there are significant power shortages.

Approximate APG composition

  • Methane
    Methane is a chemical compound with the chemical formula . It is the simplest alkane, the principal component of natural gas, and probably the most abundant organic compound on earth. The relative abundance of methane makes it an attractive fuel...

      — 81%
  • Ethane
    Ethane is a chemical compound with chemical formula C2H6. It is the only two-carbon alkane that is an aliphatic hydrocarbon. At standard temperature and pressure, ethane is a colorless, odorless gas....

      — 5%
  • Propane
    Propane is a three-carbon alkane with the molecular formula , normally a gas, but compressible to a transportable liquid. A by-product of natural gas processing and petroleum refining, it is commonly used as a fuel for engines, oxy-gas torches, barbecues, portable stoves, and residential central...

      — 6%
  • Butanes  — 4%
  • Nitrogen
    Nitrogen is a chemical element that has the symbol N, atomic number of 7 and atomic mass 14.00674 u. Elemental nitrogen is a colorless, odorless, tasteless, and mostly inert diatomic gas at standard conditions, constituting 78.08% by volume of Earth's atmosphere...

      — 1%
  • Carbon dioxide
    Carbon dioxide
    Carbon dioxide is a naturally occurring chemical compound composed of two oxygen atoms covalently bonded to a single carbon atom...

      — >0,15%
  • Others — balance

See also

  • Coalbed methane
    Coalbed methane
    Coalbed methane or Coal Bed Methane, coalbed gas or coal mine methane is a form of natural gas extracted from coal beds. In recent decades it has become an important source of energy in United States, Canada, and other countries...

     — Methane associated with coal deposits
  • Landfill gas
    Landfill gas
    Landfill gas is a complex mix of different gases created by the action of microorganisms within a landfill.-Production:Landfill gas production results from chemical reactions and microbes acting upon the waste as the putrescible materials begins to break down in the landfill...

     — Methane associated with municipal landfills
  • Wet gas
    Wet gas
    A wet gas is any gas with a small amount of liquid present. The term "wet gas" has been used to describe a range of conditions ranging from a humid gas which is gas saturated with liquid vapour to a multiphase flow with a 90% volume of gas...