The amount of sulfur recovered from global oil and gas operations is set to increase by the equivalent of 30% of current production during 2011-16, according to Uday Parekh of DEVCO, Tulsa.
Speaking July 24 at a sulfur forum before the Oil Sands & Heavy Oil Technologies Conference & Exhibition in Calgary, Parekh said 70% of the more than 15 million tonnes/year (tpy) of the new supply will come from producing countries on the Persian Gulf and in Central Asia.
Increases from the Persian Gulf, Parekh said, will be United Arab Emirates to 6.5 million tpy by 2016 from 1.8 million tpy now, Saudi Arabia to 4.4 million tpy from 3.2 million tpy, Qatar to 2.4 million tpy from 1.3 million tpy, Kuwait to 2.2 million tpy from 800,000 tpy, Iraq to 700,000 tpy from 100,000 tpy, and Iran to possibly 2 million tpy from 1.5 million tpy. From Central Asia, Parekh said possible increases by 2016 will come from Kazakhstan to 3.1 million tpy from 2.3 million tpy at present and Turkmenistan to 3-4 million tpy from negligible levels now.
Much of the new sulfur production will compete for markets in China, which is expected to be a possible market for intermittent exports from Canada. Parekh expects Canadian sulfur output to remain at about 5 million tpy with growing amounts from refining and bitumen upgrading and declining amounts from sour gas.
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