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Iran gears up to reduce gas flaring amid environmental concerns

September 11/ 14:40

Baku. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani raised hopes among millions of Iranians that the country’s economy would see better days when he inaugurated a gas mega project back in April in southern Iran. Although no one harbors doubts about the economic benefits of the ambitious project, environmentalists have expressed deep concerns over its environmental implications.

President Hassan Rouhani inaugurated $20 billion worth of energy projects in the city of Asalouyeh in Bushehr Province on April 16, bringing five phases of the South Pars gas field, four petrochemical projects, as well as the South Pars oil layer on stream.

It appears that environmental concerns are among main causes for a decision by the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) to ink its first deal on flare gas recovery and utilization with a consortium comprising France’s Sofregaz Company and Iran’s Sanat Sazeh Samin Company back on Wednesday.

The NIOC is expected to fund the 41.8 million euro deal on recovery and utilization of about half million cubic meters of flare gas in the second refinery of South Pars gas field (phases 2 and 3) in southwest Iran. The project is scheduled to be implemented within two years.

On the sidelines of the ceremony for inking the deal Asadollah Qarekhani, the spokesperson of the parliamentary commission for energy affairs, expressed the parliament’s support for measures taken by Iran's Oil Ministry aimed at reducing the amount of gas-flaring-related emissions.

"Flare gas recovery carries positive economic and environmental impacts," Iran’s oil new website Shana quoted him as saying. The MP further added that the country needs to put about $5 billion in investment to develop several projects on flare gas recovery which would annually generate about $3 billion income once completed.

This is while Pars Oil and Gas Company (POGC), a contractor for the development of South Pars phases, has announced plans for investing about $500 million for flare gas recovery in the refineries of South Pars, informs Trend.

NIOC Deputy Director for Engineering and Development Gholamreza Manouchehri has also said that the level of burning flare gas has dropped to three million cubic meters per week from the previous amount which stood at 15 million cubic meters per week. South Pars is part of a huge offshore field, shared with Qatar in the Persian Gulf. The field is estimated to hold about 8 percent of the world’s natural gas reserves.

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