‘Major projects planned to prevent flare gas waste’

Tehran Times – Iranian Energy Ministry has major plans to make use of flare gas burnt or vented in oil and gas facilities across the country, Press TV reported, quoting an official with the ministry as saying.

Hamid Chitchian, a former minister who currently advises the government on energy issues, said on Wednesday that Iran was planning to economically and technically benefit from a huge stock of flared gas that is currently wasted through the stacks in refineries.

According to Chitchian there is about 16 billion cubic meters (over 52 billion cubic feet) of flare gas that could be used for various economic purposes, including power generation.

The official said research centers affiliated with the oil and energy ministries had reached “valuable achievements” in their joint efforts to optimize the use of flare gas in Iran, according to remarks covered by Iran’s Oil Ministry news service Shana.

“The use of flare gas is one of the challenges of the oil sector,” said Chitchian, adding, “Thus we are planning to attract investment from the private sector and offer loans in the two ministries for this purpose.”

He would not elaborate whether foreign companies with experience in the field would be involved in flaring projects in Iran.

However, the announcement comes as Iran is seeking to offset the impacts of U.S. sanctions on its oil industry.

Once a pure crude exporter, Iran has managed to expand downstream operations in the oil and gas sector both to meet a growing domestic demand for energy and to open up new markets for its refined products.

Commercializing flare gas would enable Iran to diversify energy resources for power plants and industrial units while it can also be exported to other countries.