Recently sulfur production (sour gas) in Middle East has been improving and strengthening. Several new mega-scale sour gas plants has started to work in the Middle East and several projects are underway, making the region to take over from North America and becoming well-known as the first sulfur producer area worldwide! Saudi Arabia and UAE as the future world’s top sulfur suppliers have been building new sulfur projects respectively known as the Tanajib and Hail & Ghasha projects.
The amount of sulfur recovered from oil and gas started a significant rise in the 1970s, when Canada was the largest manufacturer. However, at the same time, similarly-sized, large-scale sulfur plants were built in the Middle East. During the development of highly sour fields in Canada, in the 1970s, a sulfur-focused technical community began emerging in North America. This network was formalized through various conferences with the presence of Middle Eastern companies but none of them were at the center of discussions due to geographical distance.
But now, given the developing of sulfur production in the Middle East and drop of production in North America, the sulfur industry is currently undergoing a geographical shift, and a number of more formalized sulfur-focused communities of practice are taking shape in the Middle East.
With the recent geographical focus shift and development of many projects in the Middle East including UAE, Saudi Arabia and Iran, there is clearly an incentive to further enhance local capabilities in sour gas treating and sulfur recovery.