Russia and Ukraine will set up a joint venture in Samara to make casing-head gas processing plants.
"Casing-head gas processing tests are underway. The construction of a joint venture will begin in Samara this year. It will make casing-head gas processing plants," Ukrainian Ambassador to Russia Vladimir Yelchenko said after a trip to Tyumen, Khanty-Mansi and Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Areas.
One pilot module is finished and has been tested. "It will be certified in Russia by the Institute of Oil and Gas before the end of April," Yelchenko said on Saturday, April 7.
After that the two countries will set up a joint venture that will supply casing-head gas processing plants to Yamal fields.
The combined effect from the processing of casing-head gas in Russia could be 362 billion roubles a year, Minister of Natural Resources Yuri Trutnev said earlier.
He said economic losses from the burning of casing-head gas amount to 139.2 billion roubles a year, and investments in the majority of sectors, including oil and gas mining, do not cover casing-head gas processing needs.
Over the past 17 years, no gas processing plant has been commissioned in Russia, the minister said.
Oil companies view investment in the construction of facilities for the processing of casing-head gas to be of secondary importance due to high costs of such projects, the absence of requirements for the use of casing-head gas in license agreements, and small penalties.
This means a total ban on its burning in large amounts, Trutnev said.
According to the head of the ministry's department of state policy in the field of geology, Sergei Fyodorov, Russia has more than 2,000 billion cubic metres of casing-head gas.
"However there is a severe shortage of facilities for processing it. Russia processes only about 30 percent of gas it produces," he said.
The situation is compounded by the fact that no facilities for the processing of casing-head gas have been built in Russia over the past 20-30 years and there is no infrastructure for its transportation.
Scientists from the Research Institute of Nuclear Physics at Tomsk Polytechnic University have created a new method for utilising casing-head gas released during the development of oil fields.
The new method is based on the use of nanotechnology, Institute Deputy Director Vladimir Golovkov said.
"The new plant does not let casing-head case escape into the atmosphere. After treatment by ultrahigh frequency plasma, it is converted into carbon with a high content of nanoparticles and pure oxygen," he said. They, in turn, are used to make strong and durable covering materials.
Copyright 2012 ITAR-TASS News Agency. All Rights Reserved.
(Originally published April 7, 2012, by ITAR-TASS.)