PetroKazakhstan can be ranked in terms of reduction of the associated gas flaring

Today, while the global financial crisis is testing businesses, as well as human relations, it sounds encouraging that there are some companies in Kazakhstan, which even in these difficult conditions strive to preserve their staff, not to reduce production and also to actively demonstrate their social responsibility. This responsibility refers not only to workers and social programs. There are companies that make a lot of efforts to preserve the balance of nature.

As one of the leaders in the country’s oil industry PetroKazakhstan Company is completing its five-year associated gas utilization project this year. In Kyzylorda Oblast, where the company produces oil, 200 flares used for associated gas flaring have been already stopped. For this region which has problems in terms of ecology it is a serious contribution into preservation of the balance of nature.

Last century up to the end of the 80’s Kyzylorda Oblast of Kazakhstan was considered an agrarian region that was used to raise rice, vegetables and wheat. But one day a large oil deposit was found in this region. South Turgai plain turned out to be very rich in hydrocarbons. Since then the exploration of new deposits is continuously ongoing in Kyzylorda Oblast. Being one of the leading oil companies of the country, PetroKazakhstan Company is completing its associated gas utilization project this year. As is known, our country joined the Kyoto Protocol, i.e. the document that regulates operations of producing companies and limits the amount of atmospheric emissions of products from associated gas squeezing. Preservation of the ecological balance of nature is one of the top priorities that PetroKazakhstan follows in its operations.

Bakhytzhan Issengaliyev, Vice-President of PetroKazakhstan: “The administration of Kazakhstan sets up tough conditions for subsoil users in this respect; therefore the state program for reduction of the associated gas flaring is currently being done in such a way that over time the flares operated in the territory of Kazakhstan will be stopped. With this regard PetroKazakhstan can be ranked among leading subsoil users of Kazakhstan in terms of reduction of the associated gas flaring”.

PetroKazakhstan Company commenced the implementation of a gas re-injection project in 2004. The equipment intended for associated gas utilization was installed at Kyzylkiya, Aryskum and Maibulak fields. PetroKazakhstan Company was one of the first companies in the RK that took actions to comply with the government direction on reduction of flared gas volumes. As early as 2008 the project was put into operation at three fields. Installation of the gas re-injection equipment has been completed at Kumkol. As well as the gas transportation system from Kyzylkia to Aryskum and system of gas reinjection in Aryskum.

Abdulla Abenov, Director of Capital Construction and Project Department of PetroKazakhstan Kumkol Resources: “We have adopted a large associated gas utilization program for the whole company. For this purpose 115 million USD have been invested in gas utilization. This program was approved by the Ministry of Environmental Protection and ratified by the Ministry of Energy. And we started to bring it into effect”.

During the past five years PetroKazakhstan has implemented a number of major projects related to gathering, transportation and re-injection of associated gas. It is expected that once the project is implemented it will be possible to ensure a 100% utilization of associated gas at oil fields of this company by the end of this year.

Fang Jiazhong, Vice-President, Operations, PetroKazakhstan Kumkol Resources AO: “We expect a double effect from implementation of this gas re-injection project: ecological and economic effects. The ecological effect assumes that PetroKazakhstan will not flare gas any longer, which means that the balance of nature will be preserved in the region of our operations, as atmospheric emissions will be almost equal to zero. And the economic effect comes from the fact that we preserve this gas in the land and allow future generations to use it in the future.”

In 2004 PetroKazakhstan Company commissioned a gas utilization and power generation plant with a capacity of 55 megawatt at Kumkol field. The plant annually utilizes 177 million cubic meters of associated gas from Kumkol, South Kumkol and North Kumkol fields. The company was one of the first in Kazakhstan to install a compressor unit at Aryskum field that is used to inject gas back into the field gas cap for the purposes of its conservation and maintenance of the required reservoir pressure. On the whole the gas utilization project will allow PetroKazakhstan Company to stop more than 200 flares in Kyzylorda region. A part of associated gas is currently used to operate gas power stations and since the new capacities have appeared and are being used it became possible to inject more gas back in the reservoir. In 2005 within the framework of the Kyzylorda city gasification program PetroKazakhstan Company directly provided 12 million dollars to the oblast administration for construction of gas distribution networks and a gas distribution unit in Kyzylorda.

Abdulla Abenov, Director of Capital Construction and Project Department of PetroKazakhstan Kumkol Resources: “Our company takes into account large exploration activities that are being performed around the Turgai district. When designing the infrastructure of production facilities for gas utilization we elected to make provisions for some spare capacity so that to enable the company to commence gas utilization at lower costs if new deposits are discovered in this region in the future. And today we can say with confidence that production capacities that we built at Aryskum field will allow us to utilize gas in the future, if the company gets new contracts for the adjacent fields Doszhan and Kolzhan.”

Shaikhislam Nogayev, Head of Aral-Syrdarya Department of Ecology: “This diagram shows how we and our oilmen dealt with gas utilization problems. These monitoring numbers for 2010 show zero gas flaring. Gas will be flared in accordance with the Law “On Oil” at the stage of production testing and partially during pilot commercial development”.

The gas utilization project is based on gas injection into the gas cap located above the horizons of the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods of the field. The gas utilization will allow solving a number of ecological problems, gas emissions and evaporation of light oil fractions into the atmosphere will be excluded, a probability of oil spills and soil contamination will be reduced, and fire safety of operations will be significantly improved. In the nearest future PetroKazakhstan is planning to start oil production at new fields in the region, therefore when creating the whole infrastructure for associated gas utilization the company estimated its volumes. Consequently no new flares of PetroKazakhstan will be running in Kyzylorda region.

/Anton Fyedorov, Rakhat TV/

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