Associated Gas is a natural gas which is found in association with crude oil either dissolved in the oil or as a cap of free gas above the oil.
Associated gas can be a major problem where the oil field is distant from natural gas infrastructure, making it diffficult to utilise.
Where it cannot be used, it is either reinjected into the well, flared or vented.
Flaring and venting are problematic because of the greenhouse gas impact, with venting worse as methane is a more effective greenhouse gas than CO2.
Where the gas is onshore, or close to land, utilisation can be achieved by building a separate natural gas infrastructure. This is only feasible if the volumes are large enough and the capital costs not to big.
The gas can be burned in turbines to produce electricity.
A number of companies are working on Floating LNG technology, which will allow the capture and liquifaction of the gas from offshore fields.
Another options include partial utilisation by separating out the natural gas liquids, which are easier to store and transport.
There is also research into small scale Gas To Liquids technology, to convert the gas to synthetic crude.