- Title: ALGERIA: Algerian gas production company employs enviromentally friendly measures
- Date: 16th December 2008
- Summary: VARIOUS OF WORKERS IN CENTRAL PROCESSING FACILITIES AT "IN SALAH GAS" PROJECT
- Embargoed: 31st December 2008 12:00
- Location: Algeria
- Country: Algeria
- Topics: Energy
- Reuters ID: LVAM2MQP72970O3X7EGFUES8HPC
- Story Text: Algeria's "In Salah Gas" project employs environmentally friendly procedures in the extraction of natural gas, which reduce carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere.
At Ain Salah City in the Algerian desert, natural gas is extracted while leaving carbon dioxide (CO2), a greenhouse gas, buried deep in the sand to reduce atmospheric pollution.
The "In Salah Gas" project was established in 2004 as a co-operation between Algeria's Sonatrach, British Petroleum and Norway's Statoil, and employs a unique process of collecting and storing CO2 in the ground, leaving the natural gas by-product low in CO2 and making for a highly marketable product for its importers.
This project is considered one of the most important energy investments carried out in partnership in Algeria.
"Here we are in Krechba domain processing facility for the association between Sonatrach, BP (British Petroleum) and Statoil and what you see behind us is the CPF (Central Processing Facility) itself, which separates the CO2 from the gas and also the facilities for compression and re-injection of the CO2 into the reservoir," said Mohamed Keddam, vice-president of the "In Salah Gas" project.
Normally, the CO2 by-product would be released into the atmosphere, contributing to atmospheric pollution and what some scientists believe is a contributor to global warming.
"It is a purely environmental project, there is no economics on it. It's just to limit the gas emission to the atmosphere. Just to limit emission of the CO2, which is a greenhouse effect gas," said Keddam.
Over the estimated 30-year term of the project, it is predicted about 20 million tonnes of CO2 will be captured and stored underground.
"What you see here is the CPF, Central Processing Facilities. We do gas dehydration, we do also CO2 removal and we also do CO2 re-injection, or sequestration. Production for the In Salah Gas project is 9 bcm (billion cubic metres) a year, out of which we are removing something in the order of 0.8 million tonnes of CO2 that gets sequestrated. What does 0.8 million tonnes of CO2 a year mean? It is equivalent to 200,000 cars driving 30 kilometres a year, and another idea to express the overall magnitude is as if we have planted a 200-square kilometre forest," Sahnoun said.
Sahnoun's division manages partnerships with foreign energy companies operating in Algeria, Africa's biggest gas producer and provider of 20 percent of Europe's gas imports.
"There are two other projects where CO2 sequestration takes place.
One is Weyburn, the other is Sleipner, but In Salah Gas, for CO2 sequestration, represents the biggest onshore CO2 sequestration project world-wide," Sahnoun said.
The In Salah Gas project is only accessible by air and is located in a fairly isolated location, 200 kilometres from the closest inhabited community.
It employs 2,000 workers on location.
Meanwhile, Sahnoun announced on Sunday (December 14) plans to launch three gas projects in the next three or four months worth about 4 billion U.S.
dollars and with a capacity of up to 10 billion cubic metres a year.
The ventures involve variously Gaz de France <GAZ.PA> (GDF), Total <TOTF.PA> and Repsol <REP.MC> and would be expected to start production in 2013.
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
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