In the Middle East which has the world’s largest sour gas reserves, the pressure of demand from expanding economies, particularly in the UAE with their daily gas consumption of 7.4 bcf and Saudi Arabia, is resulting in further exploitation of their sour gas resources. Foremost among this region’s projects is the Emirate of Abu Dhabi which plans to be gas self -sufficient by 2030 and ADNOC has announced the Optimum Shah Gas Expansion (OSGE) project to be completed next year. It will increase the processing capacity of the plant by 13 per cent, from 1.28 to 1.45 billion standard cubic feet per day (SCFD). Moreover, ADNOC recently called for fresh FEED contract bids for the Ghasha scheme, and have awarded contracts for two substantial onshore and offshore packages for Dalma sour gas development, part of the huge Ghasha project which is expected to be a phased development in order to de-risk the project. ADNOC’s commitment to responsible oil and gas production is reflected by the signing of a strategic framework agreement on CO2 reductions and carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS) with TOTALENERGIES as they are on track to expand CCUS capacity five-fold by 2030. The Shah gas plant has the potential to enable 2.3 million tonnes of CO2 to be captured while the Habshan plant could enable the capture of almost 2 million tonnes of CO2. In fact Adnoc's CCUS programme reinforces their position as the least-carbon intensive oil and gas producer in the world. It is also an important enabler of their holistic 2030 sustainability goals, specifically to reduce greenhouse gas intensity by 25 per cent. Such practices will be a central theme of SOGAT 2022 with international presentations on decarbonization objectives and accomplishments in gas processing. Moreover natural gas being the cleanest of the fossil fuels, as well as one of the most suitable to be paired with carbon capture, means gas processing is key to the energy transition and something we all need to advocate for in our communities.

Similarly Saudi Aramco’s efforts to reduce CCUS costs, has their scientists developing some of the world’s highest capacity CO2 capture materials for large scale applications at the time when KSA’s gas demand is also rising rapidly to meet electricity production. They have turned to their standalone gas reserves, most of which are sour. The latest operational gas plant is Fadhili, which takes 2.5 billion scf/d of sour gas from the expansion of the Arabiyah - Hasbah fields. As part of their expansion plans, increased associated gas from the Zuluf field will be separated and sent to the onshore Tanajib gas plant, which is being expanded to handle an additional 2.5 billion scf/d of gas . Tanajib is expected to become operational in 2025.One of the most exciting KSA announcements is that Saudi Aramco is preparing the development of their giant unconventional Jafurah gas field in the eastern region of the country, with plans to invest about $110 billion in the project. This largest natural gas field in the Kingdom, stretching 170 km by 100 km, is estimated to contain 200 trillion cubic feet of rich raw gas. Production is expected to begin in 2024, but will not reach its target of 2.2 billion scf/d of sales gas until 2036. When operational this project will make Saudi Aramco one of the world’s largest natural gas producers and it is a significant milestone both for the commercialization of gas resources in KSA and the expansion of Aramco’s integrated gas portfolio, which will provide additional feedstock to support growth of the Company’s high-value chemicals business, complement its focus on low-carbon hydrogen production and help reduce emissions in the domestic power sector by providing a cleaner-burning alternative to liquid fuel.

In Oman, PDO has launched the Yibal Khuff project, adding around 20,000 bbl/d to the country’s overall crude output. It will also deliver 6.1 million m³/d of sour gas to be conditioned for local power generation and Oman’s numerous enhanced oil recovery (EOR) projects. Kuwait’s Central Agency for Public Tenders has requested bids for two Kuwait Jurassic sour gas production facilities JPF-4 and JPF-5 and KNPC is now operating the Mina Abdullah Package2 of the Clean Fuels Project. Qatar Energy has taken the investment decision to develop the North Field East Project (NFE), the world’s largest LNG project, which will raise Qatar’s LNG production capacity to 110mn mt/yr. In addition to LNG, the project will produce condensate, LPG, ethane, sulphur and helium. It is expected to start production in the fourth quarter of 2025. Also Qatar Energy has begun operations at its Barzan natural gas processing plant to help meet rising domestic energy demand where the plant will produce almost 1.4 billion cubic feet of gas per day. Sanctions still play a part in Iran’s sour field activities and elsewhere in the region the state-owned Basra Oil Company in Iraq is continuing with its sour gas treatment plans for its Majnoon field. It has also been reported that in Egypt all of the sulphur recovery units as part of the Zohr gas field development have been commissioned and that gas production from the field has now reached 2.7 bcf/d. The area of sour gas exploitation in Central Asia is mostly centred around the Caspian Sea region, with exploration focused in both on and offshore reserves in the North Caspian arena and onshore reserves in Turkmenistan’s Galkynysh Field. PETRONAS continues with their programme of monetizing and processing acid gas fields in Malaysia and TechnipFMC and Petronas Technology Ventures Sdn Bhd (PTVSB), a subsidiary of Petronas, have entered into an agreement to commercialise a unique natural gas processing membrane which reduces GHG emissions. Moreover Petronas have said that carbon capture is to form part of their sour gas project Kaswali Phase 2. It will be up and running in 2025, and its second part in 2026. Kaswari 2 is being touted as the largest CCS project of its type in the world, with 4 million t/a of CO2 to be captured over the project’s anticipated 20 year operating life. CO2 extracted and compressed from the project will be piped 135 km to the M1 field, where it will be re-injected into a depleted reservoir. China is also developing sour gas processing plants with the latest being in Chuandongbei. Sour gas production in North America continues to run down . However the world’s first fully integrated natural gas CCUS unit for net zero operations has been announced in Canada.

The technologies involved in sour field development and production are and will continue to progress and the latest developments across the whole sour hydrocarbon management spectrum will be included in the well-respected SOGAT Conference Programme, with low-carbon solutions in gas processing taking centre stage primarily as natural gas is seeing a huge increase in demand due to its abundance, variety, and decreased carbon dioxide emissions, which is boosting the global gas processing business. In addition, the development of various novel procedures in the gas processing business will increase the technical and economic viability of the industry’s operations. By reducing energy usage, these solutions will help the gas processing industry save costs and achieve significant cost reductions.

So together with the latest and new technical developments displayed in the associated SOGAT EXHIBITION and the pre-conference free to attend workshops, SOGAT 2022 will not only provide unique in-person opportunities to review the most recent activities for attendees to employ in their own environments, but also a venue to re-engage in business opportunities.

© Sour Oil and Gas Advanced Technology 2022