Qatar recognised in gas-flaring reduction project

by  — 22 December 2012

Qatar further extended what is fast becoming a global-leading position in the little-known field of gas flaring reduction in early November after the World Bank-led Global Gas Flaring Reduction (GGFR) Partnership recognised work carried out by Qatargas at the Ras Laffan port.

The company picked up an award for excellence in its QR2.9 billion flaring reduction programme, which aims to recover gas being flared during the liquefied natural gas (LNG) ship-loading process at Ras Laffan. Qatargas engineering and ventures chief operating officer Sheikh Khalid bin Abdulla Al Thani explained that the jetty boil-off gas recovery project aims to enable gas to be collected from LNG ships and compressed at a central facility. Compressed gas will then be sent to the LNG producers to be consumed as fuel or converted back into LNG.

“The project is a cornerstone of Qatargas’ overall flare management and reduction strategy, and will be instrumental in our drive to reduce and maintain total flaring at regulatory target levels in the long-term to protect the environment,” Al Thani said, adding that the project “will recover enough natural gas per year to power the equivalent of more than 40,000 homes”. The news followed the announcement the previous month that Qatar Petroleum and Denmark’s Maersk Oil had achieved a 50 percent cut in greenhouse gas emissions and a 90 percent reduction in gas flaring at their joint Al Shaheen gas-gathering and flare reduction project.


According to a report published by Global Giant GE Energy in 2011: “There is almost unanimous agreement that systematic large-scale gas flaring is a source of enormous negative environmental externalities.” It continued “The impact on the global community in terms of greenhouse gas emissions is substantial.”
Recognition from the World Bank-led GGFR, a coalition of oil and gas industry members, has come at a particularly timely juncture, with Doha preparing to host the United Nations climate change conference COP 18, at which nations will seek to negotiate a successor to the Kyoto
protocol, which set binding targets for 37 countries for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.
Some have questioned Doha’s selection as host of COP 18, with the nation being built on wealth derived from the burning of fossil fuels and Qatar struggling to rid itself of the world’s largest carbon footprint per capita title, according to global environmental group WWF.
Indeed, there is a great deal of work still to be done if Qatar is to rid itself of the tag. However, projects such as Qatargas’ flaring reduction work can be cited as examples of what Qatar is doing with its hydrocarbon wealth.
Al Thani said that a desire to reduce the nation’s carbon footprint was a “key driver” behind the flaring reduction scheme.
It could be argued that fossil fuels would be burnt and income received regardless of where in the world the deposits were stored, provided that they were accessible. What is important is that Doha continues to invest swathes of that income in schemes designed to better the country’s emissions record, and then follow up by sharing its knowledge with other gas-flaring reduction projects around the world.

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