ABU DHABI -- ABS has issued an Approval in Principle (AIP) for a second floating Gas to Liquids (GTL) concept and is currently involved with the review of several additional GTL concepts from leading energy operators.
ABS provided its first AIP for a GTL concept (a floating production barge facility) in 2006. Since then, it has seen a steady increase in the number of requests it has received from designers for the review and preliminary assessment of proprietary technologies that have been developed for floating GTL facilities.
Currently, there are no GTL plants offshore and operators are looking to ABS to provide technical guidance for the "marinization" of this technology which is currently used in shore-based projects only.
According to Harish Patel, manager of emerging technologies for ABS, the emerging trend is the use of small scale, compact GTL plants offshore. By placing the GTL plant on an existing FPSO, associated gas that would have previously been flared or re-injected, can now be converted to a clean, low sulfur petroleum product or can be blended into oil, transferred using conventional FPSO handling systems and shuttled ashore using readily available product tanker tonnage. Key to making this happen is to test minimal scale GTL plants onshore to verify technology and identify all potential risk. Furthermore, he says, the projects are scalable, allowing for design optimization and tailoring for stranded marginal or smaller gas deposits opening ways to commercialize those fields.