0733 GMT January 23, 2020
Ahmad Mohammadi, the CEO of the National Iranian South Oil Company (NISOC), said on Sunday that flaring, the controversial practice of burning off gases through stacks at oilfields, will stop by 2022 in at least four locations in southern Iran, based on deals signed with two major Iranian companies, Press TV reported.
Mohammadi said the companies, namely, the Maroun Mechanic and Persian Gulf Petrochemical Industries Company, have committed, as part of deals signed in the year to March 2019, to pipe the gases to nearby plants and refineries.
He said old flare stacks near Ahvaz, a major provincial capital in southwestern Iran, as well as in Aghajari, Gachsaran and Maroun, will be dismantled at the end of the projects.
The official said the projects would seriously improve energy efficiency at petrochemical facilities in southern Iran and would also help increase the production and storage of oil in the area.
He said talks were underway to carry out similar flaring projects in Masjed Soleyman, southwestern Iran, where some of the oldest Iranian oil facilities are located.
Iranian officials said last month that the country was planning to economically and technically benefit from a huge stock of flared gas that is currently wasted through stacks in refineries and oilfields.
Estimates suggest that there are about 16 billion cubic meters (over 52 billion cubic feet) of the gas that can be used for various other purposes, including power generation.
The implementation of flaring projects in Iran comes as the country faces an unprecedented wave of unilateral US sanctions on its oil and gas industry, limiting its ability to engage with foreign companies who have experience in the field.
In May 2018, President Donald Trump pulled the US out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, signed between Iran and the P5+1 in July 2015, and imposed Washington’s unilateral sanctions on Tehran in two phases.