Articles | Volume 23, issue 2
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-23-1491-2023
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-23-1491-2023
Research article
 | 
26 Jan 2023
Research article |  | 26 Jan 2023

Flaring efficiencies and NOx emission ratios measured for offshore oil and gas facilities in the North Sea

Jacob T. Shaw, Amy Foulds, Shona Wilde, Patrick Barker, Freya A. Squires, James Lee, Ruth Purvis, Ralph Burton, Ioana Colfescu, Stephen Mobbs, Samuel Cliff, Stéphane J.-B. Bauguitte, Stuart Young, Stefan Schwietzke, and Grant Allen

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Cited articles

Allen, D. T., Smith, D., Torres, V. M., and Saldaña, F. C.: Carbon dioxide, methane and black carbon emissions from upstream oil and gas flaring in the United States, Curr. Opin. Chem. Eng., 13, 119–123, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.coche.2016.08.014, 2016. 
Anejionu, O. C. D., Whyatt, J. D., Blackburn, G. A., and Price, C. S.: Contributions of gas flaring to a global air pollution hotspot: Spatial and temporal variations, impacts and alleviation, Atmos. Environ., 118, 184–193, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.atmosenv.2015.08.006, 2015. 
Barker, P. A., Allen, G., Gallagher, M., Pitt, J. R., Fisher, R. E., Bannan, T., Nisbet, E. G., Bauguitte, S. J.-B., Pasternak, D., Cliff, S., Schimpf, M. B., Mehra, A., Bower, K. N., Lee, J. D., Coe, H., and Percival, C. J.: Airborne measurements of fire emission factors for African biomass burning sampled during the MOYA campaign, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 20, 15443–15459, https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-20-15443-2020, 2020. 
Cain, M., Warwick, N. J., Fisher, R. E., Lowry, D., Lanoisellé, M., Nisbet, E. G., France, J., Pitt, J., O'Shea, S., Bower, K. N., Allen, G., Illingworth, S., Manning, A. J., Bauguitte, S., Pisso, I., and Pyle, J. A.: A cautionary tale: A study of a methane enhancement over the North Sea, J. Geophys. Res.-Atmos., 122, 7630–7645, https://doi.org/10.1002/2017JD026626, 2017. 
Charles, J.-H. and Davis, M.: Flaring at FPSOs: Out of sight, but not out of mind, Capterio, https://capterio.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/20210101-Flaring-at-FPSOs-out-of- sight-but-not-out-of-mind.pdf (last access: June 2022), 2021. 
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Short summary
Flaring is used by the oil and gas sector to dispose of unwanted natural gas or for safety. However, few studies have assessed the efficiency with which the gas is combusted. We sampled flaring emissions from offshore facilities in the North Sea. Average measured flaring efficiencies were ~ 98 % but with a skewed distribution, including many flares of lower efficiency. NOx and ethane emissions were also measured. Inefficient flaring practices could be a target for mitigating carbon emissions.
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