Gas processing in Basra province has slumped since late May from around 450mn cfd to 290mn cfd, MEES learns. The slippage marks an early setback for the Shell-led Basra Gas Company (BGC), the strategic $17.2bn joint venture charged with capturing associated gas from the Rumaila, West Qurna-1 and Zubair oil fields, which was only formally launched in early May.

The bulk of the fall as of early July was due to lower gas supply from BP-led Rumaila, MEES understands. Gas processing capacity on projects covered by BGC, touted as the world’s biggest flaring reduction project, is 600-700mn cfd, but gathering capacity is lower at 450mn cfd. BGC, grouping state-owned South Gas (SGC, 51%), Shell (44%) and Mitsubishi (5%), had only just reached this level before the falls kicked in. Monthly gas processing peaked in April at 405mn cfd, up from 340mn cfd for the previous six months. It is not clear if the lower gas volumes have impacted electricity generation (see p6). (CONTINUED - 624 WORDS)