Storage Tank to Prevent Nitrogen Wastage

Storage Tank to Prevent Nitrogen WastageStorage Tank to Prevent Nitrogen Wastage

A nitrogen storage tank was installed in the South Pars Gas Complex's second refinery to alleviate nitrogen shortage and reduce reliance on outside suppliers.

With the installation of the storage tank, nitrogen wastage during low consumption hours and dependence on outside supplies will be prevented.

"The refinery's nitrogen consumption had increased due to erosion of storage tanks and mechanical seals in some of our equipment," one of the SPGC chief engineers told ILNA.

Sanctions imposed on Iran's nuclear program cut SPGC from its foreign equipment suppliers. As a result, the company, which is in charge of maintaining South Pars Gas Field's operational phases could not replace sealants and reduce nitrogen consumption.

"We needed more nitrogen but preferred not to buy it from outside suppliers, so we opted to install a nitrogen tank instead," said Nasser Agharezaei.

 The installation process was complicated due to the site's proximity to the refinery's other essential gear.

"Any mistake could have catastrophic human and production costs," said the expert, "so 20 of the refinery's top engineers designed the tank's four-stage installation process."

Most natural gas extracted from the Earth contains, to varying degrees, low molecular weight hydrocarbon compounds; examples include methane, ethane, propane and butane.

Natural gas processing plants purify raw natural gas by removing common contaminants such as water, carbon dioxide and hydrogen sulfide. A fully operational plant delivers pipeline-quality dry natural gas that can be used as fuel by residential, commercial and industrial consumers.

National Iranian Oil Company has faced embargos on its equipment since the Iranian hostage crisis, driving up prices of parts as the company has had to resupply its gear from third parties. These limitations intensified after 2012 due to the dispute over the scope of Iran's nuclear activities, as payment routes were also barred due to the blacklisting of the Central Bank of Iran by the United States and the European Union.

However, the sanctions have added to the expertise of NIOC engineers and forced the company to reverse engineer or build some of its essential equipment domestically.

South Pars is the world's largest gas field and is shared between Iran and Qatar. It is estimated to hold 51 trillion cubic meters of in-situ natural gas and some 50 billion barrels of natural gas condensates. About 70% of the field's total gas reserves are recoverable, meaning the field holds 19% of world recoverable gas reserves. NIOC is planning to develop South Pars in 24 to 30 phases, bringing the field's daily production capacity to 710 million cubic meters.