Iraq’s sales gas volumes – of which almost all is burned in power plants – hit a new record of just over 1.3bn cfd in January, as flaring fell below 55% of wellhead output for the first time since November 2010. Although January’s total gas production was slightly below December’s monthly record of 2.843bn cfd, the reduced flaring (see chart) is a result of increasing associated gas recovery from the Rumaila, West Qurna-1 and Zubair oilfields by the Basrah Gas Company (BGC).
But the additional gas supply is unlikely to eradicate generators’ longer-term feedstock worries. While Iraq had some 10.85GW of gas turbine capacity operational at the end of 2016, upgrades to existing plants as well as a development program of seven gas-fired plants with 10.21GW combined capacity – the new plants alone would require 1.4bn cfd of gas at full output – means that flaring will need to be largely eradicated and gas production increased (MEES, 2 February). (CONTINUED - 802 WORDS)