Clean energy technologies are in high demand within our fossil fuel consuming economy. Oil and gas industries are looking for ways to use these technologies as the world addresses persistent and emerging local and global environmental challenges. The future of clean energy is bright as corporations adapt with the shift towards smarter energy management solutions.
Questor Technology Inc. is holding its lead in the global economic and technological race. Founded in late 1994, the company focuses on clean air technologies with activities in Canada, the U.S., Europe and Asia. Based in Calgary, Alberta, Questor is recognised as an international environmental oilfield service company. It recently acquired additional space for a field office in Grand Prairie, Alta., with plans to start fabricating some of its own units in house.
In response to regulatory, industry and community concerns over flaring across the globe, Questor Technology incinerators cleanly combust waste gases and create an opportunity to utilize the waste heat, minimizing the environmental impacts. Questor has the ability to capitalize more fully on the emerging clean energy market by designing and manufacturing high-efficiency waste gas incinerators for sale or for use on a rental basis. It also provides combustion-related oilfield services.
Questor’s philosophy is simple: “We create win-win relationships among communities, industry and regulators that make business sense,” says President and CEO Audrey Mascarenhas. “We can minimize the big disconnect among these groups.”
Mascarenhas joined Questor Technology Inc. in 1999 after a 17-year stint in oil and gas at Gulf Canada Resources. During that time, females were a rarity in the industry and she studied engineering as her “back-up” while wanting to be a doctor. She discovered how much she enjoyed studying engineering and eventually switched her focus to bio-engineering. Mascarenhas has a wealth of hands-on experience with various industries across Canada, which gives her a good understanding of what her clients need.
“In this expensive industry our technology creates an opportunity to use gas wisely instead of wasting it by flaring,” says Mascarenhas. “The beauty of our technology is that the capital cost is reasonable, the equipment is portable and it can be easily installed to deliver efficient results. We have the ability to move to different projects in an economic and timely manner.”
The company’s proprietary incinerator technology destroys noxious or toxic hydrocarbon gases to ensure regulatory compliance, environmental protection and reduced operating costs for customers. Questor is recognized for its particular expertise in the combustion of sour gas (H2S). Questor engineers every incinerator to fit its specific application, based on gas composition and flow rates.
“Questor focuses on waste gas and how to use that energy wisely,” says Mascarenhas. “When oil is discovered, it comes with ‘associated gas’ which is the problematic part. The process for transporting oil is easy using pipelines, while the byproduct gas remains unutilised and flared.”
14 billion cubic feet of gas is flared daily across the world, which is equivalent to heating a third of Europe and amounts to the energy equivalent of 2.5 million barrels of oil. Questor converts this gas into heat, which can be utilized without emitting harmful byproducts that affect climate change and impact on human health.
While the company’s current customer base operates primarily in the oil and gas industry, this technology is applicable to other industries such as landfills, water and sewage treatment, tyre recycling and agriculture. Questor’s technology has application in heat recovery and power generation systems.
Several of Questor’s projects stem from interest in the United States. “A lot of our work in the U.S. is a result of best practices that our clients seek support in,” says Mascarenhas. “There is a growing interest in the ways they can generate power locally at a site instead of wasting gas and having to buy power.” This will have a positive impact on emissions, while being more energy efficient and reducing operating costs.
Strategies that encourage the deployment, innovation, manufacture and trade of clean energy technologies help bolster the competitive position of Questor. As the company moves through 2013, it expects to see substantial growth in the sale and rental of its units, as the marketplace recognizes the operational, environmental and economic benefits that Questor’s clean air solutions offer.
Other projects on the horizon include discussions with offshore platforms that will open up an enormous market. The company also plans on looking into landfill, mining, coal bed methane and water treatment sectors. Questor’s focus will be on increasing its operating capacity to meet demand.
“Oil and gas is here to stay because the demand is there. We have to find ways to develop it in a smarter and more sustainable way,” says Mascarenhas. “This industry needs to attract bright minds and find ways to engage all the young bright minds, including women, to contribute to sustainable solutions. Right now, the industry is perceived as dirty, which can hamper growth opportunities for the industry. Using technology, especially clean technology, is the key to the future growth and viability of the energy industry.”