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GTL: Smaller hardware brings big benefits

By Gerald Ondrey |

The gas-to-liquids (GTL) process offers a promising option for producing valuable liquid fuels from gas resources that would otherwise be wasted. These include associated gas (the gas produced along with oil, which is now frequently disposed of by flaring or re-injection into the reservoir) and stranded gas (gas fields where the gas is not present in large enough quantities to warrant conventional recovery). However, current GTL technology is only economically viable for use in large scale plants designed to process at least 300 million standard cubic feet of gas per day (MMSCFD). A binding memorandum of understanding (MOU) between PTT, the Thai state-owned energy company (www.pttplc.com), and the Oxford Catalysts Group (Oxford, U.K.; www.oxfordcatalysts.com) will help to make the GTL process a viable option on a much smaller scale. This would make it feasible to convert stranded and associated gas from individual onshore oil fields on-site. The GTL process involves two operations: steam methane reforming (SMR), a process used to convert natural gas into synthesis gas (syngas); followed by Fischer-Tropsch (F-T) synthesis to convert the syngas into a liquid fuel. Under the terms of the MOU, PTT will provide funding of $5 million…
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