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FEATURE STORY

Gas Utilization in Kuwait Reaps Economic and Environmental Benefits

August 25, 2014

STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Driven by environmental concerns and demand for electricity, Kuwait Oil Company (KOC) has succeeded in utilizing almost 99% of associated gas.
  • Effective gas utilization must be a priority at all levels of he organization.
  • Coordination between the producer and customers optimizes gas utilization and reduces waste.

What happens when one of the world’s wealthiest nations with abundant oil reserves lacks enough electricity to power its demand? It uses an underutilized, readily available resource sitting right under its feet.

Since 2008, Kuwait has been a net importer of natural gas, consuming more than it produces and struggling to keep up with growing domestic demand for electricity. The government recognized there were solutions that could partially solve the growing gas deficit and developed a comprehensive strategy to maximize domestic gas utilization. A key component of that strategy has been capturing associated gas, instead of wastefully releasing and flaring it during oil production.

Open Quotes

We are strongly committed to creating a healthier environment, and have dramatically reduced gas flaring. We are steadfast to further reduce it to as low as possible. Close Quotes

Mohammed Al-Zuabi
KOC Manager, Gas Operations Group

Kuwait Petroleum Company and its subsidiaries lead a broad, multifaceted hydrocarbons industry in Kuwait. KOC manages all upstream development on Kuwait territory, except for the Divided Zone, and represents the country in the World Bank-led Global Gas Flaring Reduction Partnership (GGFR).

Effective gas management is a key objective for the company, to optimize the utilization of this valuable resource and reduce its environmental impact. The mission is to reduce gas flaring less than 1% of total production by 2017. To achieve this target, KOC conducted thorough, periodic reviews of the gas value chain from producing well to end user in order to identify all sources of waste or potential optimization. Results are monitored at the highest management levels. All the staff is involved and committed to this objective, which stands high on their Key Performance Indicators list.

“We are strongly committed to creating a healthier environment, and have dramatically reduced gas flaring. We are steadfast to further reduce it to as low as possible,” said KOC’s Manager Gas Operations Group, Mohammed Al-Zuabi. “I firmly believe it was only possible because there was a complete change in the employee mindset towards better understanding the environmental consequences of gas flaring and preserving a very valuable resource,” he added.

KOC’s successful gas flaring reduction is a result of several key factors:

  • a solid commitment from all levels of the company to make flare reduction a priority;
  • significant financial investments in state-of-the-art facilities and operations;
  • close cooperation within KOC departments and with downstream companies and customers in order to adapt to any unforeseen situations and limit the duration of flaring; and
  • a close, productive partnership with GGFR and other organizations to achieve the target.

KOC is still actively engaged in gas flaring reduction projects, striving to achieve a “Lowest Technical Limit” objective, and working with GGFR on this objective. Top management at the company constitutes a task force team to continue looking for solutions and develop a roadmap and flare reduction action plan.