Huge gas plant planned for North Sea burn-off

A major British development in North Sea petroleum exploitation is expected this summer if a Scottish local authority approves a US company's plan to build a $:150 million ($342 million) gas refinery near the northeast port of Aberdeen.

The Highland Regional Council is expected to five the go-ahead soon for the massive petrochemical plant on the rugged coastline of the Cromarty Firth. Cromarty Petroleum, part of the Daniel Ludwig group of companies, will own the methane processing complex, but operational management will be controlled by the American-based Dow Chemical Company.

Gas will be piped to the refinery from the large North Sea St. Fergus field. Part of a plan under study by the government to recover vast quantities of gas being burned off above North Sea oil rigs, the Cromarty Firth development project is expected to produce methane and butane at an annual rate of 3 million tons.

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