Gas Gathering & Processing

BGC’s key operation is to gather, treat and process associated natural gas from the three main oilfields: Rumaila, West Qurna 1, and Zubair under licensing round-1. Through its operations BGC processes associated gas and separates it into three products:

• Dry gas for power generation – electricity fed into Iraq’s national power grids
• Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG) used for domestic cooking and heating; the surplus is being exported abroad creating an additional revenue stream
• Condensate used for heavy vehicles and factories

BGC inherited a large gas infrastructure with assets built back in the 1980’s, whereby years of sanctions and conflicts made it challenging to maintain and upgrade the Company’s facilities and pipelines. As a result, these facilities were in dire need for rehabilitation. BGC carry out scheduled rehabilitation and turnaround programs to address needed maintenance and revamping to ensure asset integrity and safety meet the required standards.

BGC receives associated natural gas from the operators from the three fields, gas extracted from oil production, which is treated, cleaned and processed from impurities, such as CO2, H2S and water. The process also involves separating the hydrocarbon gas from liquids. Dry gas is sent to the national grid to generate electricity to more than three million Iraqi homes.

Natural gas liquids are sent to our Khor Al Zubair-NGL plant (KAZ-NGL) to separate the gas from liquids to produce Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG) and condensate. LPG, also known as propane, butane and propylene –is used for heating and cooking, and condensate is often used as diluent in heavy oil production, bringing other benefits to Iraq’s energy chain.

BGC has two processing plants – natural gas liquid (NGL) plants, KAZ-NGL plant located 30 kilometers south of Basrah city, was built in 1983, Rumaila NGL plant, and three LPG fractionation units.

At our two processing plants the associated gas is treated and processed, natural gas is separated, the dry gas is delivered to South Gas Company which in turn coordinates the distribution of the dry gas to power plants, operated by the Ministry of Electricity, used to generate electricity for homes and businesses across Iraq. The liquids are cleaned from impurities and then fed to the LPG process.

These liquids (also known as broad cut) come from Khor Al Zubair and the North Rumaila plant. The liquids are removed from the natural gas and made into LPG bottled in cylinders to meet domestic needs across Iraq.

Since BGC’s commencement of operations in 2013, BGC managed to ramp up production from 250 mmscf/d to 950mmscf/d – that’s more than 3 times gas produced and enough gas to provide approximately 3.5 GW of electricity for millions of homes in Iraq.

BGC is currently providing more than 80% of Iraq’s LPG needs, in 2016 BGC turned Iraq from a net importer to a net exporter of LPG, whereby the surplus is being exported to neighboring countries creating revenue for Iraq. Rehabilitation projects are on-going at the Umm Qasr Marine and Storage Terminals to ensure a steady and safe process.

Despite the many challenges and delays caused by COVID-19 and the volatile oil prices, BGC was able to sustain and maintain gas production without disruption in a safe manner. The pressing need for energy in Iraq means that our NGL plants and pipelines cannot be shut down for lengthy periods for rehabilitation or repair. Hence, BGC adopted a sequential approach to the restoration and rehabilitation works in phases, shutting down only small sections of the plant at a time to carry our scheduled turnarounds and necessary maintenance work to maintain production as high as possible.

Thanks to our ‘Blue Army’ – our capable engineers and front-liners in BGC who are working hard to repair and restore our plants to its nameplate capacity and ensure continuous gas production is maintained safely.