Basrah’s Game-Changing Gas Project Commences Operations

Basrah’s Game-Changing Gas Project Commences Operations
by Aswani

Iraq has made significant progress in its attempts to increase its natural gas processing capacity with the seamless start of operations at the Basrah Natural Gas Liquids Plant (BNGL). This ambitious project, spearheaded by China Petroleum Engineering & Construction Corp (CPECC), is set to boost Iraq’s gas processing capabilities, and unlock the potential of its abundant natural gas resources.

Project Details

The Basrah Natural Gas Liquids Plant aims to increase Iraq’s capacity by 40% through the installation of a cutting-edge greenfield gas processing plant. This state-of-the-art facility consists of two trains, each with a capacity of 200 million standard cubic feet per day (cf/d), contributing to a combined processing capacity of 400 million cf/d. The plant is strategically located at the Ar Ratawi oilfield, approximately 75 kilometers west of Basrah.

Contract Award and Responsibilities

In 2019, China Petroleum Engineering & construction Corp (CPECC) was given the task of building the natural gas liquids plant by Basrah Gas Co., a joint venture between Shell, an Anglo-Dutch major shell, and the Iraqi government. The expertise and experience of CPECC played a crucial role in ensuring the successful completion of this vital energy infrastructure.

Location and Gas Sources

The choice of the Ar Ratawi oilfield as the project site offers strategic advantages for the BNGL plant. Situated on the west of Basrah, this location facilitates convenient access to the primary gas sources in Iraq. The BNGL project harnesses the associated gas from three major oilfields: Rumaila, Zubair, and West Qurna1. This integration of gas collection and processing from these significant oilfields showcases Iraq’s commitment to maximize the value of its natural resources.


The commencement of operations at the Basrah Natural Gas Liquids Plant brings forth a host of benefits and implications for Iraq’s energy sector:

  1. Increased gas processing capacity: With the BNGL plant’s 40% capacity expansion, Iraq strengthens its ability to process and monetize its natural gas resources.
  2. Value-added products: The utilization of associated gas from major oilfields allows to produce valuable natural gas liquids.
  3. Economic growth and job creation: The successful implementation of the BNGL project stimulates economic development and job creation in Iraq.


The initiation of operations at the Basrah Natural Gas Liquids Plant marks an achievement for Iraq’s energy sector. This project serves as a steppingstone towards harnessing the full potential of Iraq’s natural gas resources, driving economic growth, and securing a sustainable energy future.

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