GTL to eliminate stranded gas

Gas-to-liquids (GTL) technology is a viable means of monetizing stranded gas, according to Dave Redeker, GTL team leader at BP at the GTL 2002 conference in Houston. In the last 15-20 years, gas development has gained prominence, he said.

Gas-to-liquids (GTL) technology is a viable means of monetizing stranded gas, according to Dave Redeker, GTL team leader at BP at the GTL 2002 conference in Houston. In the last 15-20 years, gas development has gained prominence, he said. The problem has been bringing remote fields to market. GTL could be the answer. "We think (the issue of) stranded gas will go away eventually," Redeker said.
GTL is now being discussed as a serious option, but "GTL is not entirely in its infancy," Redeker said. In fact, the technology is more than 70 years old, and there are some GTL operations that are profitable today, he said. With the industry focus on GTL, it is quite possible that a world-class GTL facility will be in operation in the next five years.
One impetus for pursuing GTL technology is the move toward ultra-clean fuels. Because GTL diesel fuel produces no sulfur emissions, it is a cleaner fuel than gasoline. Low particulate emissions from GTL diesel make developing this fuel appealing, Redeker said.
Qatar, leading the way in GTL development, has stated a goal of becoming a GTL hub. The country is moving forward with its GTL program. Construction will begin in 1Q 2003 on a science and technology park near Doha that will promote GTL research. By laying a solid foundation for growth, "The Qataris have done it right," Redeker said.
Although GTL can be profitable, it competes for capital with LNG, Redeker said. For GTL to compete more strongly, favorable strides need to be made in increasing efficiency and reducing capital expenditure and operating expenditure, he said.

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