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Iran will stop gas flaring in at least four fields in the South within three years, a former chief executive of the National Iranian South Oil Company told PressTV.
The gas that is now flared will be transported via pipelines to nearby chemicals plants and refineries, the official said.
Estimates place the amount of gas yet to be flared in Iran at some 16 billion cubic meters that could be put to commercial use. Indeed, the former NISOC chief’s announcement comes soon after another one from the energy ministry that said Iran would use associated gas instead of flaring it at oil fields.
“The use of flare gas is one of the challenges of the oil sector. Thus we are planning to attract investment from the private sector and offer loans in the two ministries for this purpose,” said Hamid Chtchian, a government advisor on energy matters. According to him, using associated gas instead of flaring it would also help Iran mitigate the effects of U.S. sanctions on its economy.
Gas flaring is a global problem, and one that’s getting worse: the World Bank reported a 3-percent increase in gas flaring on a global scale for last year, to 145 billion cubic meters. The United States was responsible for the biggest portion of this increase, with its own national rise in gas flaring at 48 percent compared to 2017.
Associated gas comes as a by-product from oil extraction and for many producers it is non-commercial, especially now that gas prices have been depressed by the abundant supply made available by fracking. The silver lining of the bad news was that the intensity of flaring in the U.S. had fallen substantially, from 2.9 cubic meters of gas per barrel of oil back in 2012 to 0.3 cubic meters per barrel of oil.
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
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Irina is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing on the oil and gas industry.