Shell starts up long-delayed Iraq gas gathering project

26 May, 2023

The Shell-led Basrah Gas Co. (BGC) will start up a long-delayed project in Iraq next week that should slash the high volumes of associated gas flared at the country's giant southern oil fields, reported the Energy Imteligence.

The $3 billion project comprises two new trains that will each add 200 million cubic feet per day to BGC's existing gas-processing capacity of 1 billion cubic feet per day.

The new trains will capture gas that is currently flared at three oil fields awarded in Iraq's first licensing round after the US-led invasion in 2003 — Zubair, West Qurna-1 and Rumaila.

Those fields, and others that were subsequently awarded, lacked the infrastructure to process associated gas, and their operators — respectively, Eni, Exxon Mobil and BP — had no legal obligation to build it, which explains Iraq's poor record on gas flaring.

In recent years, Iraq has consistently sent more gas up in smoke than any other country except Russia.

The first of the two new trains will be commissioned on May 31, with gas production ramping up over the summer, while the second train will come online early next year, a BGC spokesman told Energy Intelligence.

The BGC joint venture was formed a decade ago by Iraq's South Gas Co. (51%), Shell (44%) and Mitsubishi (5%).

It describes itself as one of the largest flaring reduction projects in the world. It has tripled its gas processing capacity since 2013 and claims to have prevented more than 160 million tons of CO2 equivalent from entering the atmosphere

BGC's expansion project should further cut Iraq's emissions by 10 million tons of CO2e per year.


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