Iran's Anti-Flaring Project Grinds to Halt
A major project Iran is developing to curb gas flaring is struggling to make progress because of financial difficulties, an official oil ministry document obtained by NGW on September 10 indicates.
The project, aimed at reducing flaring of associated gases by 5.2bn m3/yr, including 3.5bn m3/yr of methane, progressed only 3% over the last two years, the document stated. It is currently 41% complete.
Iran is the world’s biggest flarer after Russia, with 17.8bn m3 of gas flared in 2018, according to World Bank. The country accounted for 12.3% of global flared volumes that year. Oil minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh announced in 2017 that it would cost about $5bn to minimise flaring.
Iran started construction in 2013 on the NGL-3200 project, initially slated to cost $1.34bn. After long delays, it had reached 38% completion by May 2018, when the US withdrew the Iran nuclear deal and began taking steps to reimpose sanctions on Tehran.
Iran’s failure to push forward with the project will have a knock-on effect on other investments. Gas collected by NGL-3200 was to be used as fuel at the 492-MW West Karoon power plant, currently 64.8% complete, the document states. It was also earmarked as future feedstock for a 600,000 mt/yr ethane plant. Construction of this plant has been put on hold.