American Journal of Environmental Sciences

Using a Simulation Tool to Model the Ground Level Concentrations of Green House Gases Emitted by Flaring in Petroleum Production in Kuwait Oilfields

Khaireyah Kh. AL-Hamad, V. Nassehi and A.R. Khan

DOI : 10.3844/ajessp.2008.420.438

American Journal of Environmental Sciences

Volume 4, Issue 5

Pages 420-438

Abstract

Air pollution and its effects on the ecosystem has been a source of concern for many environmental pollution organizations in the world. In particular climatologists who are not directly involved in petroleum industry sometimes express concerns about the environmental impacts of gas emissions from flaring at well heads. For environmental and resource conservation reasons, flaring should always be minimized as much as practicable and consistent with safety considerations. However, any level of flaring has a local environmental impact, as well as producing emissions which have the potential to contribute to the global warming. In the present research the Industrial Source Complex (ISCST3) Dispersion Model is used to calculate the ground level concentrations of two selected primary pollutants (i.e. methane and non-methane hydrocarbons) emitted due to flaring in all of Kuwait Oilfields. In additional, the performance of the ISCST3 model is assessed, by comparing the model prediction with the observed concentration of methane and non-methane hydrocarbons obtained from the monitoring sites. The described model evaluation is based on the comparison of 50 highest daily measured and predicted concentrations of methane and non-methane hydrocarbons. The overall conclusion of this comparison is that the model predictions are in good agreement with the observed data (accuracy range of 60-95%) from the monitoring stations maintained by the Kuwait Environmental Public Authority (EPA). A specific important conclusion of this study is that, there is a need for a proper emission inventory strategy for Kuwait Oil Company (KOC) as means of monitoring and minimizing the impact of methane and non-methane hydrocarbons released because of flaring activities.

Copyright

© 2008 Khaireyah Kh. AL-Hamad, V. Nassehi and A.R. Khan. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.