According to satellite data of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Egypt has consistently ranked 20th among the world's top 20 gas flaring countries during the period 2007 to 2011, where aggregate quantities of flared gas were estimated at 8.1 Billion Cubic Meters, which represents annual lost revenues of approximately USD 4.2 billion. As an alternative to flaring, the gaseous by-products are already being captured by some refineries and are utilised for their energy content. However, viability of flare gas recovery projects is restricted in many countries by high project development costs, lack of funding and energy subsidies. The Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) can play a pivotal role in overcoming barriers facing flare gas recovery projects in developing countries like Egypt, especially in view of the low energy prices due to energy subsidies provided by the government. This paper reports on research conducted on Egypt's first refinery flare gas recovery project, which could improve sustainability and promote Cleaner Production within the Egyptian Oil & Gas industry. Since the project was foreseen for implementation under CDM, the project was analysed from a triple bottom line perspective. In addition to the potential annual greenhouse gas emission reductions yielding expected yearly revenues of around USD 1.5 million, the project can contribute to capacity building and employment opportunities in Egypt's Oil & Gas industry. Registering the project under CDM improves its economic feasibility and can provide impetus to overcome the identified project barriers. However, since the project's Internal Rate of Return is highly sensitive to the local gas price, removing the energy subsidies renders the project economically attractive without considering CDM revenues. From a future perspective, this project represents a major steppingstone for implementing zero flaring in Egypt.

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Journal of Cleaner Production
Department of Public Administration

Abdulrahman, A. O., Huisingh, D., & Hafkamp, W. (2015). Sustainability improvements in Egypt's oil & gas industry by implementation of flare gas recovery. Journal of Cleaner Production, 98, 116–122. doi:10.1016/j.jclepro.2014.11.086