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EghtesadOnline: The National Iranian Oil Company has reached an agreement with two unnamed domestic firms on preserving and transferring associated petroleum gases to curb air pollution and prevent wastage, a senior oil official said.

"Two contracts have been signed, based on which 1.19 billion cubic meters of APG from four oil refining units will be delivered to these firms," Bijan Aalipour, director of the National Iranian South Oil Company (a subsidiary of NIOC), was also quoted as saying by IRNA on Thursday. The initiative is amid at using APG in the country, which followed a public tender held by NIOC last year.

The official noted that NIOC is currently planning to hold the second tender to transfer the associated gases from 23 processing units that produce 3.7 billion cubic meters of APG. He had previously stated that gases produced through the tenders will either be transferred to NIOC or used to generate electricity. Flaring is the burning of natural gas that cannot be processed or sold. It is an important safety measure undertaken by many oil and gas production sites, as it prevents industrial plant equipment from over-pressuring and exploding.

APG is currently flared, which has become a thorny issue among the authorities for several reasons. Aalipour said the schemes will help prevent the burning of 1.75 billion cubic meters of gas annually. "Studies suggest it will earn annual revenues amounting to $53 million for the country, create job opportunities and help curb air pollution," Financial Tribune quoted him as saying.

Burning high levels of APG is considered a major source of pollution because it releases large amounts of harmful emissions in the environment.

The move will help Iran in its mission to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

The government has been obliged to curb the flaring of natural gas to 10% or lower by 2022, according to a law passed by the parliament as part of the objectives outlined in the Sixth Five-Year Development Plan (2017-22). The plan stipulates that the government should prepare the ground for private investors to launch gas-flaring reduction projects in all oil and gas fields by easing the terms and conditions of investment "to collect and reduce at least 90% of associated petroleum gases" by 2022.


APG NIOC Iran Oil Company associated petroleum gases