Gazprom Neft starts shipping granulated sulphur from its Badra oilfield

Gazprom Neft subsidiary Gazpromneft-Badra has begun shipping granulated sulphur from its Badra oilfield in Iraq — the unique gas infrastructure installed by the enterprise here having made it possible not just to diversify production, but also increase associated petroleum gas (APG) utilisation to 98 percent.

The pilot consignment, delivered by order of Iraqi client “Ard as-Sakhlya”, totalled 1,000 tonnes and was shipped from the field with the help of 40,000-tonne-capacity heavy-goods vehicles (HGVs) over the course of one week. Gazpromneft-Badra is now preparing to ship its next consignment, of more than 3,000 tonnes of granulated sulphur,* for another business in Iraq.

Gazpromneft-Badra has managed commercial production at this asset for a period of five years, during which time total cumulative production has reached 100 million barrels. The business has produced more than 2,1 million tonnes (15.6 million barrels) of liquid hydrocarbons since early 2019. Shipments of granulated sulphur from Badra commenced this year.

Production is undertaken through sulphur production and granulation plants with capacity of 110,000 and 136,000 tonnes per year, respectively, both of which form part of the 1.6-billion cubic metres per year capacity gas plant at the Badra field. The technological process of producing granulated-sulphur production is automated throughout all key stages, from intake of raw materials to packaging of finished products. Gazpromneft-Badra has, already, produced more than 72,000 tonnes of sulphur (now in storage), which is expected to be shipped to Iraqi customers as orders are received.

“We have, in Badra, created a modern industrial complex, unique in the variety of its output, producing not only oil and gas, but also granulated sulphur and electricity. Cutting-edge technological solutions have allowed us to monetise all hydrocarbons produced, as well as ensuring optimum environmental friendliness on this project, increasing APG utilisation to more than 98 percent.”
Vadim Yakovlev
Vadim Yakovlev First Deputy CEO, Gazprom Neft
Reference

* Sulphur is widely used both in industry and in the production of consumer goods — paper, rubber, fabrics, medicines, cosmetics, plastics, fertilisers, paints, and other products. Together with oil, coal, cooking salt and limestone, it is one of the raw materials essential to the chemical industry.

The advantages of granulated sulphur lie in its convenience and safety in storage and transportation (by any means of transport), and more sanitary and hygienic working conditions and production standards.

** The construction of sulphur production and processing facilities at the Badra field is down to the higher sulphur content of the associated petroleum gas (APG).

*** Technological lines at the Badra gas plant are used to process APG — modern equipment making it possible to use this to produce a broad range (fraction) of liquid hydrocarbons, dry-stripped gas and liquid petroleum gas (LPG). Hydrogen sulphide obtained in APG separation is used to produce elemental sulphur. Dry-stripped gas is transported via a 106-kilometre pipeline to the Az-Zubaidiya power station, which supplies electricity to several provinces in Iraq as well as the state capital, Baghdad. A portion of dry stripped gas is also used as fuel for the Badra field’s own 123.5 MW-capacity gas turbine power plant, which provides energy for all field equipment, the field residential complex, and more than 25,000 residents in Badra and surrounding settlements.

The Badra oilfield is located in the Wasit Province, Eastern Iraq. Preliminary estimates indicate reserves in place at the Badra field to be in the order of three billion barrels of oil. Development of the field is expected to run for 20 years, with potential for extension by a further five. The contract was signed with the Government of Iraq in January 2010, on behalf of a consortium comprising Gazprom Neft (operator), KOGAS (Korea), PETRONAS (Malaysia), and TPAO (Turkey). Gazprom Neft’s share in the project is 30 percent, KOGAS’ 22.5 percent, PETRONAS’ 15 percent and TPAO’s 7.5 percent. The share held by the Iraqi government, represented by the Iraqi Oil Exploration Company (OEC), is 25 percent.