EghtesadOnline: The first phase of the project to collect associated petroleum gas from the Maroun 3 Oilfield in Khuzestan Province is operational now and its second phase as well as the project to collect APG from Maroun 6 Oilfield in the southwestern province will be launched later this month, managing director of Maroun Oil and Gas Production Company said.
“Upon the inauguration of the two projects, over 1.2 million cubic meters of APG will be collected per day and transferred to the production line in Maroun Petrochemical Company,” the Oil Ministry’s news agency Shana quoted Hamid Kaviyan as saying.
The projects are to reduce harmful emissions through the recovery and utilization of 850,000 cubic meters of flare gas in Maroun 6 and 425,000 cubic meters from Maroun 3 Oilfield.
Maroun Oilfield is the second-largest oilfield of Iran. Discovered in 1963, the field contains estimated recoverable oil reserves of 22 billion barrels, making it the world's sixth biggest onshore oilfield in the world. It is currently producing approximately 520,000 barrels per day of crude oil.
Flaring is the burning of natural gas that cannot be processed or sold. Flaring of APG is an important safety measure at oil and gas production sites, as it prevents industrial plant equipment from over-pressuring and exploding. However, burning high levels of APG is a major source of air pollution.
Iran has the highest rate of energy waste in the form of APG in the Middle East and ranks third in the world in terms of gas flaring after Russia and Nigeria.
Optimizing energy consumption and reducing environmental pollutants are major concerns in the oil and gas industries. As the only known way to curb energy waste and emission of pollutants in the oil and gas industry is flaring, an effective mechanism to curtail and eliminate flare is crucial.
The collected gas can be utilized in a number of ways after processing: sold and included in the natural-gas distribution networks, used for on-site electricity generation with engines or turbines, reinjected for secondary recovery and used in enhanced oil recovery, converted from gas-to-liquids producing synthetic fuels, or used as feedstock for the petrochemical industry.
According to a World Bank report, a massive amount of gas flares at oil production sites around the world burn approximately 140 billion cubic meters of natural gas annually, emitting more than 300 million tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
If this amount of gas is used for power generation, it can provide about 750 billion kilowatts per hour of electricity, or more than the African continent’s current annual electricity consumption.