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Gas to liquids market forecast

Hydrocarbon Engineering,

According to a new report, the implementation of GTL as a solution for the monetisation of natural gas is on the tip of no longer being determined by exceptional circumstances. Limited to a small number of facilities, the upfront capital cost of a GTL plant is a barrier that few can actually overcome. Yet, some view this situation as soon coming to an end as smaller scale GTL solutions become available and make GTL a viable option in more circumstances with a lower up front cost. The ability to monetise gas reserves of a lesser size in an economically viable way will see a rapid expansion of GTL CAPEX.

Large scale GTL

In the early 2000s there were some major set backs in the GTL industry and many large scale projects were abandoned. However, the world’s largest GLT facility, Shell’s Pearl GTL plant opened in Qatar in 2011. The plant has a processing capacity of 140 000 bpd of synthetic fuels and follows in the footsteps of the smaller Oryx GTL plant, Qatar which opened in 2006. With the opening of these facilities there are now four commercial GTL plants in operation. This is set to increase with the completion of the 34 000 bpd Escravos GTL plant in Nigeria this year and further large scale projects, around the world, are in the planning stages.

Why GTL?

The main driver for the increasing interest in GTL technology is the arbitrage opportunity between the price of oil and the price of gas. Since 2009, the natural gas price has decoupled from the crude oil price in the North American market, which has led to increased interest in building GTL facilities. Also, as recently established plants in Qatar are operating at full capacity and turning over large revenues, the rest of the oil and gas sector is beginning to feel comfortable and confident about the viability of GTL on a large scale.

The figures

The report expected CAPEX on GTL to total US$ 2.674 million this year. The GTL market is composed of spending on EPC, bringing smaller scale GTL technologies online in the form of commercially viability facilities and FEED.

Adapted by Claira Lloyd written by Visiongain

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