Opportunities for Western Canadian Gas
Volume 1, Number 2
This paper explores three specific opportunities for western Canadian gas: gas-to-liquids (GTL) technology, liquefied natural gas (LNG) as a fuel and LNG exports.
Gas-to-liquids (GTL) technology converts natural gas to a high-grade crude oil near the production source. The technology to achieve this has existed for many years and first involves the re-forming of natural gas and steam or the gasification of natural gas and an oxygen source to carbon monoxide and hydrogen, and then the application of the Fischer-Tropsch (F-T) process to convert these gases to a synthetic crude oil. It is also important to understand this process from a competitive standpoint because 'clean coal' also involves gasification and could also yield liquid transport fuels. Therefore, information will be provided on the environmental benefits of using natural gas versus coal.
Harnessing liquefied natural gas (LNG) as a fuel is accomplished by using natural gas to power vehicles and stationary engines. Natural gas is stored and transported as a cold liquid and then vaporized to provide an ambient gas stream to the engine. It provides substantial cost savings and environmental benefits over existing petroleum fuels.
The potential for LNG in the international oil and gas industry is significant. LNG export facilities are already planned in British Columbia (BC) to export Canadian natural gas, and these facilities will allow natural gas producers to access higher priced natural gas markets in Asia, as well as elsewhere in the world.
The objectives of this paper will be to first explain some of the latest technology in the Canadian natural gas industry, and then explore the economic opportunities this offered to Canadian gas. Comparisons will be drawn between the technologies and economic potential associated with each natural gas opportunity.
© 2012 Canadian Energy Technology & Innovation (CETI) Group
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