TEHRAN (Iran News) – Iran will soon bring online its biggest refinery for natural gas flare associated with oil production, built with $3 billion of investment, Minister of Oil Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said.
The Persian Gulf Bid Boland Gas Refinery in Behbahan will become operational early next Iranian year, which begins on March 20 and is expected to be “the source of a major change in reducing environmental pollution and developing the petrochemical industry,” he told a national TV program on Tuesday night, Press TV reported.
Natural gas in oilfields is often intentionally burnt off in a practice known as flaring in order to make way for oil production. Not only are tremendous quantities of gas wasted, but one percent of the global greenhouse gas emission also takes place in this process.
US sanctions imposed after President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from a landmark nuclear deal in May 2018 have been preventing Iran from importing equipment needed to stop environmental pollution, in what Zanganeh has already denounced as “a crime against humanity”.
The US is among the top four flares of gas in the world along with Russia, Iraq, and Iran, but the problem is expected to get worse in the United State where shale drilling is growing at breakneck speed under the Trump administration.
The bulk of Iran’s gas flaring occurs at southern oilfields, where a pall of grey smog often hangs over the horizon. In 2018, Zanganeh said that Iran needed $5 billion to curb the flaring of gas at its oilfields.
Zanganeh said that the nearly-finished Persian Gulf Bid Boland Gas Refinery has a capacity to process 56 million cubic meters a day of associated gas, enough to produce 3.5 million tons of feedstock for use in petrochemical plants in Khuzestan Province.
“This will usher in a major change in developing the petrochemical industry in Khuzestan Province, especially the Gachsaran region,” the minister said.
More projects underway
Zanganeh said two more contracts have been signed with Persian Gulf Petrochemical Industries Co. and Maroon Petrochemical Co. to collect and process flaring gas from East Karoun oilfields.
Another project for processing associated gas from West Karoun oil fields – NGL 3200 plant for natural gas liquids – is under construction, which he hoped will come on stream in the current administration.
Furthermore, the construction of the Dehloran gas refinery known as NGL 3100 has reached 40 percent of physical progress and the project is expected to finish in the next two years, Zanganeh said.
In the offshore sector, Iran has carried out two projects to process associated gas from Siri and Qeshm oilfields in the Persian Gulf.
“The only remaining project is to collect associated gas from the Kharg oilfield which is also on our agenda,” the minister said.
- source : Iran Daily, Irannews