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Gas utilization options

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Major parameters that play a role in the screening of gas utilization options include:

  • Gas-field size
  • Product market size
  • World-scale plant size
  • Maturity of technology
  • Capital cost
  • Product prices

Facility and technology evaluation

Table 1 shows the gas-field-size requirements and typical world-scale plant sizes for some of the gas utilization options. The gas-field-size requirements are based on a single-train plant with a 20-year life. It is possible to have multiple-train plants, which will require larger-sized gas fields; however, under these circumstances, the impact of the additional production on the product market should be evaluated. A combination of different gas monetization options also can be used depending on the available gas reserves.

Market and resource evaluation

Table 2 compares the total market size for the different products for year 2001. The GTL market is large, while the ammonia and methanol markets are relatively small. Fig. 1 depicts the impact of an additional 1,000 MMscf/D of gas on the product market. The ammonia and methanol markets are relatively small and the incremental production from an additional 1 Bscf of gas on the market has a significant impact on the total market for the product. For LNG, even though the impact on the total market is significant in terms of the currently traded LNG, it is not significant in terms of the total natural gas consumption worldwide. For GTL, the impact of additional capacity on the total market is insignificant.

Economic evaluation

Product pricing also plays a key role in the economic evaluations of the different options. Fig. 2 shows revenue per unit feed gas quantity for the different products at a given point in time. The revenue for ammonia and methanol per unit volume of feed gas processed is higher compared with a GTL or a LNG facility. However, as Fig. 3 shows, the relative capital cost (on a unit feed basis) for these facilities is also higher compared with a LNG or GTL plant. No one parameter, in isolation, should be considered while evaluating the gas monetization options. A multidimensional evaluation of the relevant parameters is required to develop the optimum gas utilization strategy.

Utilization options

Some common gas utilization options are listed below:


CII integral incorporated cascade process
CNG compressed natural gas
CPL coiled pipeline
DME dimethylether
FT Fisher-Tropsch
GTG gas to gas
GTL gas to liquids
GTM gas transport module
GTP gas to power
GTS gas to solids
GTW gas to wire
LNG liquefied natural gas
LPG liquefied petroleum gas
MMscf/D million standard cubic foot per day
mtpa million tons per annum
mTPD metric tons per day
NGH natural gas hydrates
NGL natural gas liquid
ORV open rack vaporizer
PNG pressurized natural gas
SMDS Shell middle-distillate synthesis
VOTRANS volume-optimized transport and storage


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See also

Monetizing stranded gas

Stranded gas

Transporting stranded gas as hydrates