EghtesadOnline: The National Iranian Oil Company has reported that gas flaring in oilfields declined 40% in 2019 compared to 2017.
According to ISNA and based on NIOC data, daily gas flaring in 2017 was 50 million cubic meters but dropped to less than 30 mcm/d in 2019.
In 2018 it was 40 mcm/d with $5 billion net loss for the treasury because the gas could have been used alternatively for economic benefit such as power generation.
Flaring deprives countries of economic benefit from using gas associated with pumping crude oil, rather than releasing it into the air and adding to the air pollution.
Iran has prevented the flaring of 12 billion cubic meters of associated petroleum gases, a source of global warming and a waste of valuable fuel, since the first phase of AMAK project went on stream in 2008.
AMAK is the largest domestic environmental project in the oil and gas sector, undertaken by the NIOC. It collects APG from oilfields.
Despite the considerable decrease (40%) in the two year period, Iran is still among the top gas-flaring countries after the US, Russia and Iraq. The waste (30 mcm/d) is a strong indication that there is still a long way to go in solving this issue.
Collection of APG is an important safety measure at many oil and gas production sites, as it prevents industrial plant equipment from over-pressure and explosion.
Iran has made progress in using flare gas either for power generation or as feed for refineries and petrochemical factories. The government is said to have invested more than $5 billion in related projects.
According to a law passed in 2017, the government is obliged to curb the flaring of natural gas to 10% or lower by 2021 and several plans have either been completed or are in the implementation pahse.
For instance, with the launch of the first off-gas compressor, gas flaring in phases 17 and 18 of the giant South Pars Gas Field in the Persian Gulf has been cut by a massive 50%.
Moreover, a project to harness and transfer APG to offshore facilities in Forouzan Oilfield in the Persian Gulf (started in 2017) is complete and close to 6.5 mcm of gas (which was burnt off every day) is transferred to Kharg Petrochem Plant and Kharg natural gas liquids (NGL) Plant, to process gaseous hydrocarbons including ethane, propane, butane and pentane.
According to Ramin Hatami, head of the Iranian Central Oil Fields Company, the company is undertaking a project to collect and process associated petroleum gases from Dehloran oilfield, 22 km southwest of Dehloran City, Ilam Province near the Iraqi border.
“The aim is to collect 2.3 mcm of APG and the project is expected to become operational in 2021 costing $140 million.”
This is in the framework of commitments to help protect the environment and the APG will be used as feedstock for petrochemical plants.
Moreover, the move will help cut APG in the region—a major source of pollution, as large amounts of harmful emissions are released in the environment through gas flaring.
An estimated 150 bcm of gas is wasted through flaring each year worldwide. This is the equivalent of $20 billion worth of gas. Gas flaring is not just a waste of a valuable natural resource, but also has a significant impact on the environment, adding as much CO2 to the atmosphere every year as 200 million cars.