Flar­ing gas could be turned into profit: EBRD

The Pak Banker - - Front Page -

LON­DON

A ma­jor waste of a nat­u­ral re­source can be turned into prof­itable de­vel­op­ment in­vest­ments, said the EBRD Pres­i­dent Sir Suma Chakrabarti to­day in Lon­don. In his open­ing re­marks for the Global Gas Flar­ing Re­duc­tion Forum, or­gan­ised by the World Bank and hosted by the EBRD in Lon­don on 24-25 Oc­to­ber 2012, Pres­i­dent Chakrabarti said: “Re­duc­ing gas flar­ing is a very prof­itable busi­ness op­por­tu­nity with sig­nif­i­cant en­vi­ron­men­tal ben­e­fits. How­ever, there is still a con­sid­er­able num­ber of bar­ri­ers that hin­der project de­vel­op­ment and im­ple­men­ta­tion.”

The huge vol­umes of oil-as­so­ci­ated gas that is flared or vented around the world mean that this ma­jor re­source waste could be turned into an op­por­tu­nity. Flared and vented gas emits the same amount of CO2 as the en­tire Ital­ian econ­omy. If col­lected and sold, it would raise about US$ 50 bil­lion an­nu­ally at cur­rent gas prices.

The EBRD’s Manag­ing Di­rec­tor for En­ergy Ef­fi­ciency, Jo­sue Tanaka, said that the EBRD is push­ing ahead with the re­gional strate­gic mar­ket study in Rus­sia, Kaza­khstan, Azer­bai­jan and Turk­menistan. The find­ings of the study, which aims to iden­tify bank­able projects that can be fi­nanced by the EBRD, will be pre­sented early next year in the coun­tries’ cap­i­tals.

The EBRD has al­ready suc­cess­fully fi­nanced two projects aimed at re­duc­ing as­so­ci­ated pe­tro­leum gas (APG) flar­ing in Rus­sia, the coun­try which ac­counts for a quar­ter of gas flared glob­ally: Mono­lit and Irkutsk Oil Com­pany (IOC). In the case of the Mono­lit project, a gas pro­cess­ing plant was built; and the IOC’s so­lu­tion was to re-in­ject the gas into the reser­voir us­ing a gas cy­cling fa­cil­ity fi­nanced by the EBRD. Col­lect­ing and us­ing this gas, mainly a by-prod­uct of oil de­vel­op­ment, re­quires spe­cial­ist gas in­fra­struc­ture which is dif­fi­cult to jus­tify in case of small and re­mote oil fields. “How­ever,” adds Kevin Bortz, “with cer­tain fields it is al­ready pos­si­ble to col­lect the gas. And as tech­nol­ogy de­vel­ops there will be more bank­able projects where EBRD in­vest­ment can make a dif­fer­ence and turn waste into a valu­able prod­uct.”

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