Oil & Gas Product News Logo

New Bio Natural Gas Technology Debuts in California

New Bio Natural Gas Technology Debuts in California

Company info

175 Fulweiler Avenue
Auburn, CA
US, 95603

Website:
placer.ca.gov

Read more

A new technology for converting forest waste into renewable natural gas was demonstrated for the first time ever in Auburn, California.

The process, developed by Canadian firm G4 Insights, converts scraps and small trees from forest thinning projects into a renewable natural gas called biomethane. In its first public demonstration, G4 used gas produced on site to fuel an unmodified Placer County truck.

“G4 is pleased to have the opportunity to partner with Placer County, California Energy Commission, Southern California Gas Company, and U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities to make this project a great success,” said G4 principal Matt Babicki. “This project demonstrates the potential for G4 PyroCatalytic Hydrogenation technology to transform forestry waste into high value, low carbon fuel, and support forestry communities with long term jobs to collect biomass and operate G4 renewable natural gas plants.”

Renewable natural gas produced from forestry waste could serve a helpful role in alternative energy production, especially in heavily forested areas. Typically, forestry waste is burned where trees are felled to reduce wildfire hazards, which increases air pollution locally. Converting it into natural gas instead would reduce air pollution and increase the supply of sustainably-produced clean energy. Future production facilities near large sources of waste have the potential to provide jobs and other economic benefits to rural, forest communities.

“Continuing to build a sustainable energy future in Placer County means using every kind of alternative energy we can,” said Kirk Uhler, chairman of the Placer County Board of Supervisors. “This could turn out to be an important part of that, and at the same time, have a significant role in reducing forestry waste that can present a wildfire hazard.”

In the Foresthill area of Placer County alone, there are an estimated 20,640 tons of forestry waste produced annually – enough to fuel 4,926 cars for a year. A single ton of forestry waste could produce enough natural gas to drive from Lake Tahoe to Anchorage, Alaska. In the United States, there is enough current available and sustainable tree thinning and forestry industry waste to fuel more than 40,000 natural gas fleets the size of Placer County’s.

"Forest waste is one of the largest sources of potential waste resources for biofuels and bioenergy in California," said California Energy Commissioner Janea A. Scott. "Bringing more technologies like the G-4 Insight technology, which can sustainably convert waste materials from forest restoration activities into low carbon transportation fuels online, would be a significant achievement."

The G4 technology uses raw, untreated forestry waste that otherwise has no commercial use. Competing technologies require clean wood chips, stripped of bark, from harvested trees that could be used for other purposes. The gas it produces is of the same quality as conventional gas, and can be used for any of its purposes, not just vehicle fuel. The G4 natural gas reduces fossil emissions by 86 percent compared to standard gasoline.

“We’re excited to see the results of this demonstration,” said Tom Quinn, forest supervisor for the Tahoe National Forest Service. “The Forest Service is willing to look at all potential economic options that can assist with the region’s ecological restoration mission to reduce hazardous fuels, thin forests, reduce wildfire intensity and improve resistance to insect/disease outbreaks.”

G4 received a $1.2 million grant from the California Energy Commission in 2011 to develop the demonstration plant. Placer County provided G4 with forestry waste from Tahoe National Forest, workspace and logistical support at its transportation yard in North Auburn, and assisted with the planning, coordination and preliminary environmental permitting for a potential larger-scale pilot facility in Placer County.

More from Industry News

Canadian energy future to be propelled by technological innovation

Over the past decade, uncertainty has been constant in Canada's oil and gas industry, brought on in part by unknown investment outlooks, lack of market access, and a complex regulatory process. According to PwC Canada's 2019 Energy Visions report, there are two main factors that could catalyze change for the oil and gas industry: a national energy strategy as well as further technological innovation. 

Pacific Oil & Gas Ltd. to acquire Canbriam Energy Inc.

Canbriam Energy Inc. and Pacific Oil and Gas Ltd. have announced the signing of definitive documents for the acquisition by PO&G of all of the issued and outstanding shares of Canbriam for cash consideration. Canbriam's Board of Directors has provided unanimous approval of the Transaction, and all of the officers, directors and significant shareholders of Canbriam representing greater than 90 percent of the outstanding Canbriam shares have entered into support and lock-up agreements in favor of the Transaction.

Fuelled engaged by PwC to facilitate large energy asset disposition

Fuelled, Canada's leading energy equipment marketplace, announced an agreement with PricewaterhouseCoopers Inc., LIT, in its capacity as the court appointed Receiver of Trident Exploration.  This agreement will allow Fuelled to act as the exclusive sales agent for Trident's surplus oil and gas equipment. Fuelled is representing the Receiver on the divestiture of approximately 250 pieces of production equipment located in Western Canada. "We look forward to working closely with the Receiver on this engagement while we continue to deliver an unparalleled customer experience to our online buyers" said Austin Fraser, VP of Fuelled.  "Trident's equipment includes gas compression, separation, dehydration, refrigeration, MCC's and other gas processing equipment that we believe there is strong demand for from our customers domestically as well as in the US and Overseas"

IGU releases 2019 Wholesale Gas Price Survey

The International Gas Union (IGU) released its 2019 Wholesale Gas Price Survey at Flame 2019. The survey is the eleventh to be undertaken in a series that began in 2007. The eleven surveys examine the dramatic changes in wholesale price formation mechanisms during a period of key developments in the global gas market. 

free-paper-airplane

Get our newsletter

Learn more

Pfannenberg launches video demonstrating ease of installation for signaling alarms

Pfannenberg, a manufacturer of thermal management and signaling technologies, announces a new video highlighting the ease of installation of its line of PATROL signaling devices, including both audible and combined visual-audible signal models. Pfannenberg signaling devices are designed to be installed in less than a minute. Video viewers can see a direct head-to-head comparison with competitive signaling alarms that take considerably more time to install.

Canada sees continuing drop in rig counts for April

Baker Hughes, a GE company announced that the Baker Hughes international rig count for April 2019 was 1,062, up 23 from the 1,039 counted in March 2019, and up 84 from the 978 counted in April 2018. The international offshore rig count for April 2019 was 251, up 4 from the 247 counted in March 2019, and up 57 from the 194 counted in April 2018.

Canadian upstream oil and gas investment shows small increase compared to U.S., study shows

From 2016 to 2018, capital investment in Canada's upstream oil and gas industry (essentially, exploration and production) increased 15 percent compared to 41 percent in the U.S. over the same period, finds a new study released by the Fraser Institute, an independent, non-partisan Canadian public policy think-tank.

New frac pump from Weir engineered for reliability in harsh operation

At OTC 2019, Weir Oil & Gas introduced its new SPM EXL Frac Pump - engineered from the ground up to be the most durable, longest-lasting 2500 horsepower pump on the market, the company states. With the highest rod load rating in its class at 238,000 pounds, this pump is designed to withstand today's harshest fracking conditions and ease maintenance for operators' field teams.

National Energy Board approves applications to abandon sub-sea pipelines

The National Energy Board (NEB) has approved two applications to abandon the NEB-regulated parts of Exxon Mobil's Sable Offshore Energy Project and Encana Corporation's Deep Panuke Project. These projects, both located offshore Nova Scotia, had reached a stage of naturally declining production. The Sable Offshore Energy Project stopped producing natural gas in December, 2018 and Deep Panuke ceased production in May, 2018.

free-magazine-subscription

Get Our Magazine

Paper or Digital delivered monthly to you

Subscribe or Renew Learn more

PSAC cites market access challenges as it cuts 2019 forecast for second time

The Petroleum Services Association of Canada (PSAC), in its Midyear Update to the 2019 Canadian Oilfield Services Activity Forecast, lowered for a second time its Forecast for the number of wells drilled (rig released) in 2019 across Canada to 5,300 wells - a drop of 1,300 or twenty per cent (20%) from the original Forecast of 6,600 in November 2018.  PSAC has based its updated Forecast on an average natural gas price of C$1.65/mcf (AECO), crude oil price of US$57.00/barrel (WTI), and a U.S.-Canada exchange rate averaging $0.75.

Leucrotta announces successful test rate in upper Montney

Leucrotta Exploration Inc. is pleased to announce the following update: Leucrotta drilled and completed an Upper Montney horizontal multi-frac well at 8-22-81-14W6 ("8-22") in the Mica area of north east British Columbia. The well was considered a major step-out given it was approximately 7.5 miles from the closest producing horizontal Upper Montney well. This well confirms that a large portion of our land base that has previously been delineated as highly productive in the Lower Montney is also highly productive in the Upper Montney, effectively significantly increasing the size of the potential development of the resource.

Oil sands project costs have dropped but pipeline constraints, other factors likely to slow growth

The cost of building and operating oil sands projects has fallen dramatically in recent years and total oil production is expected to rise by another 1 million barrels per day (mbd) by 2030. But external factors—such as price uncertainty caused by pipeline constraints—are contributing to a more moderate pace of production growth than in years past, a new report by business information provider IHS Markit.

CAPP encourages Newfoundland and Labrador residents to vote for energy in provincial election

Newfoundland and Labrador has an opportunity to become one of the most competitive offshore oil and natural gas jurisdictions in the world, but only if Newfoundlanders and Labradorians vote for energy in the next provincial election, according to the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP). In its Newfoundland and Labrador Energy Platform, Oil and Natural Gas Priorities for a Prosperous Newfoundland and Labrador, CAPP made a series of action-oriented recommendations aimed at increasing industry competitiveness through improvements to regulatory, fiscal, and economic policies, and the timely expedition of projects.

CNRL provides update on Scotford Upgrader incident

Canadian Natural Resources Limited has released a follow up report on the event which occurred at the Scotford Upgrader, in which the Company has a 70% interest, on Monday April 15, 2019 at approximately 8:45am. Shell Canada, as Operator of the Scotford Upgrader, along with Strathcona County Emergency Services responded to a fire in the upgrader expansion area ("North Upgrader") at the Scotford Upgrader, while it was being shut down for planned maintenance. The fire was promptly extinguished, all personnel were accounted for, and there were no reported injuries.

Orbital Gas Systems showcases new technologies at open house

Orbital Gas Systems, a wholly-owned Energy subsidiary of CUI Global, Inc., held a technology showcase and open house for customers and suppliers at its Houston facility Thursday, April 25. The 39,000 square foot facility supports the growth of the upstream, midstream and downstream product lines and services, including gas metering, process control, telemetry, gas sampling, environmental monitoring and BioMethane systems.

free-paper-airplane

Get our newsletter

Learn more

Husky Energy reports first quarter 2019 results

Husky Energy generated funds from operations of $959 million in the first quarter of 2019, compared to $895 million in the first quarter of 2018. Net earnings were $328 million, compared to $248 million in Q1 2018 and free cash flow was $147 million, compared to $258 million in the first quarter of 2018. Cash flow from operating activities, which includes changes in non-cash working capital, was $545 million, compared to $529 million in Q1 2018.

Cenovus delivers strong performance through Q1 of 2019

Cenovus Energy Inc. delivered strong operating and financial performance in the first quarter of 2019, generating more than $1 billion of adjusted funds flow, $731 million of free funds flow and cash from operating activities of $436 million. The company's excellent financial results were driven by strong operating performance, a significant narrowing of light-heavy oil price differentials in early 2019 and Cenovus's low-cost structure and continued commitment to capital discipline.

free-magazine-subscription

Get Our Magazine

Paper or Digital delivered monthly to you

Subscribe or Renew Learn more