Processing systems/design

Baker Hughes NGL Plant To Reduce Flaring, Boost Iraqi Gas Production

Baker Hughes will build a modular fast-track natural gas liquids processing plant in southern Iraq to capture associated gas for power generation and to reduce flaring.

Flare for flaring associated gas
The planned NGL processing plant will capture associated gas for power generation.
sasacvetkovic33/Getty Images/iStockphoto

Baker Hughes has signed a contract with Iraq’s state-owned South Gas Company to build a modular natural gas liquids (NGL) processing plant to recover up to 200 MMcf/D of flared gas from the Nassiriya and Al Gharraf oil fields in the southern province of Dhi Qar, the country’s oil ministry and Baker Hughes have announced.

Once operational, the plant is expected to reduce OPEC’s second-biggest oil producer’s reliance on Iranian gas imports for electricity generation while also reducing the country’s carbon footprint. Iraq ranks second to Russia in the volume of associated gas it flares—nearly 18 Bcm in 2020, according to the World Bank.

Baker Hughes reported in a news release on 17 September that its contract calls for a two-step deployment of its NGL solution.

In the first stage, Baker Hughes will develop an advanced modular fast-track gas processing plant at Nassiriya to dehydrate and compress flared gas to generate more than 100 MMcf/D of dry gas. It will then expand the plant into a fully functional NGL facility to recover 200 MMcf/D of dry gas, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), and condensates.

The dry gas will be delivered to power plants while the LPG and condensates will satisfy domestic demand for cooking gas, with any surplus available for export.

The project was expected to start in 2018 but was delayed; it is now scheduled for completion by mid-2024, according to statements made by Iraqi officials at a news conference.

To generate electrical power, Iraq has had to import gas from Iran after securing sanction waivers from the US. The most recent waiver is good for 120 days, ending 27 November of this year.

In early September, France’s TotalEnergies signed a $27-billion agreement with Iraq to conduct four large energy projects—in oil and gas and renewables—in the country’s Basra region. Work is due to begin immediately on a $10-billion investment covering the construction of a gas-processing plant to support up to 3 GW of power generation. The investment will also fund enhanced oil recovery as the plant will capture associated gas that might otherwise be flared.

In 2020, Baker Hughes and Iraq’s Ministry of Oil reported the signing of a first-of-its-kind partnership agreement to provide advanced equipment, technology upgrades, and maintenance of the Ministry of Oil fleet. The company also pledged to develop local training programs and create new jobs, according to a company news release.

As part of this initiative, Baker Hughes has expanded its technical services facility in the North Rumaila oil field from where it services customers throughout Iraq and manufactures products needed to provide technical solutions.

Baker Hughes has offices in Baghdad, Erbil, and Basra and employs 350 people of which nearly 95% are Iraqi.