Gas flaring in the Permian Basin hits all-time highs

MIDLAND -- Gas flares are becoming more noticeable in the Permian Basin, because the number of them has nearly doubled in just the past year, according to Rystad Energy.

“We are wasting a lot of dollars through gas flare," said George Nnanna, Dean of Engineering at UTPB. "If we can innovate a method of capturing the gas and concerting it into electricity, for industry as well as domestic use, that will generate another economic opportunity for the region.”

Nnanna said the electricity created from the gas can be used to treat produced field water, so it could be reused, which will save company dollars.

The excess electrical energy can then be used by the public.

Nnanna and two of his colleagues submitted a proposal to the National Science Foundation, which asked for funding to find a beneficial use of flare gases.

“The future actually looks good in terms of the oil production, and in terms of having technology that Is able to recapture the flare gases," Nnanna said.

Nnanna said there is currently no interest in recovery, but he's hopeful that the industry, community or a government agency sees it as an investment opportunity.