September 25, 2022

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‘Over $1.5b worth of natural gas wasted in Iran annually’

TEHRAN – Head of Tehran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture (TCCIMA) has said that over $1.5 billion worth of natural gas is wasted in Iran’s oil and gas fields every year, IRIB reported.

“Studies show that 47.5 million cubic meters of gas is wasted in the country’s oil and gas fields every day, and if we consider a price of nine cents for each cubic meter of gas, the total value of the wasted gas is about 1.5 billion dollars every year,” Masoud Khansari said in a TCCIMA board meeting on Tuesday.

“According to a World Bank report, in the years 2012 to 2021, Iran had the first place in terms of natural gas wastage among the world’s oil-rich countries; natural gas waste increased from 11.1 billion cubic meters in 2012 to 17.4 billion cubic meters in 2021,” Khansari said, mentioning a recent WB report on world’s energy crisis after Russia-Ukraine war.

He noted that the major part of Iran’s wastage is related to the flaring of gases associated with oil.

“I hope that with the measures taken by the Oil Ministry and the expansion of activities to prevent gas flaring, we will see a day when this wastage will reach the lowest possible level and even become zero,” the official said.

The World Bank data indicate that gas flaring is costing oil-rich countries billions of dollars in lost revenues, so that, over the past decade 144 billion cubic meters of gas have been wasted around the world annually; with this amount of gas, 1,800 million megawatt hours of electricity could be produced, which is equivalent to two-thirds of the electricity produced in the entire European Union.

Gas flaring is the process of burning the gas released through certain industrial processes, including oil extraction. In the past, when the demand for natural gas was low and, consequently, producers had little incentive to gather and sell it, it was generally – and more reasonably – dissipated through flaring.

Now, however, natural gas is known to be a valuable means of generating electricity and an important raw ingredient for the petrochemical industry. On the other hand, when released into the air, unrefined gas pollutes the atmosphere by releasing greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, causing extensive environmental damage.


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