By 2017 Iraq’s flared natural gas will be producing electricity for the country.  Several sites have written about this historic venture including The Guardian here, Bloomberg here, and RTT News here.

In the past few days a new joint venture business was announced involving Basra Gas, Royal Dutch Shell and Mitsubishi to capture and use flared natural gas to generate electricity and to export liquid natural gas. Basra Gas (owned by the Iraq government) will own 51% of the partnership, Shell 44% and Mitsubishi 5%.

The waste gas in Iraq’s southern gas fields is currently burnt off in a process known as “flaring”, which is estimated to cost $5m a day in lost fuel. Its capture and use by power utilities is viewed as the answer to Iraq’s domestic electricity shortages. Presently the country can only meet half of its domestic demand.

The raw gas is currently flared because of a lack of infrastructure to collect it. Some 700 million cubic feet of gas is currently burned off each day in southern Iraq, worth about $1.8 billion per year at current prices. Iraq burns off more gas as a percentage of production than any other country. The nation ranks fourth for the amount of gas it flares, behind Russia, Nigeria and Iran.

Initially, Shell will provide project management and technical expertise for the gas project with Iraqi staff progressively assuming key positions in the management of the company.

Previously Earth’s Energy reported the following story about how flared gas will be turned into electricity in Alberta, Canada.

The Calgary Herald tells us that flared natural gas will be converted to electricity in northwestern Alberta.  Genalta Power Inc.’s 3 MW plant will burn unprocessed natural gas that is currently being burned off to produce nearly enough power for all the homes in the nearby town of Peace River.


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