Iraq’s associated gas production reached a record high of just over 2 billion cubic feet a day (cf/d) in February.

But gas processing has failed to keep pace with rising oil production, meaning the country is close to setting a new record for flaring, according to the latest data released by the Oil Ministry.

Gas flaring rose to 1.36 billion cf/d in February, just short of the record high of 1.37 billion cf/d set in August last year. Oil production currently stands at 3.41 million barrels a day (b/d), the highest level in three decades.

UK/Dutch oil major Shell Group leads the Basra Gas Company (BGC) consortium, along with Japan’s Mitsubishi and state-owned South Gas Company, which aims to capture and utilise flared gas from several fields across the south of Iraq.

Under its 25-year agreement, the company will rehabilitate and expand new gas infrastructure for associated gas from the Rumaila, West Qurna-1 and Zubair oil fields, where more than 700 million cf/d is flared.

BGC aims to eliminate this and to install capacity to process up to 2 billion cf/d of gas.