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PetroSA in talks with Mozambique for GTL plant; 70% diesel output

Reuters. South African state-owned oil company PetroSA is in talks with Mozambique to develop a 40,000 barrels-per-day gas-to-liquids (GTL) plant there. Gareth Shaw, PetroSA’s business development manager for GTL, said his company was proposing the building the plant at a cost of around $4 billion.

Shaw said the plant could use PetroSA’s new low-temperature Fischer-Tropsch technology, which would boost the share of diesel produced in the plant to 70 percent from 40 percent seen in other types of GTL technology.

...Consortia led by US oil and gas producer Anadarko Petroleum and Italy’s Eni have made huge gas discoveries in Mozambique’s Rovuma offshore basin. The country’s total recoverable resources are seen at more than 100 trillion cubic feet, industry officials and analysts have said.

Broadly, the PetroSA GTL process entails the following steps:

  • Natural gas reforming to produce syngas;
  • Fischer-Tropsch synthesis to convert syngas to liquid fuels;
  • Oligomerization to convert light olefins into longer chain gasoline and distillate (diesel) fuels, and;
  • Conventional refining technologies to workup products.

PetroSA operates a GTL plant at Mossel Bay; part of the technology is under license from SASOL.

PetroSA is also the developer of conversion of olefins to distillate (COD) technology. The COD process oligomerizes FT-derived olefins over a shape selective zeolite catalyst to form longer chain molecules. Typically, COD is selective toward the production of liquid transportation fuels, and can be run either in a gasoline mode or a distillate mode of operation. The reactions involve both oligomerization and cracking reactions resulting in the synthesis of the long-chain iso-olefins.

PetroSA has used COD commercially technology since 1992.

COD produces relatively pure fuels that are low in sulfur and aromatics and meet specifications such as Euro V. These fuels have significantly better exhaust emission properties than their conventionally produced equivalents, and have outstanding cold flow properties.



About $100,000 to get 1 bbl/d.  Not a small investment.


$33,000 in profit every year for that 1 barrel per day, assuming cheap NG cost only $11 per barrel of synthetic oil... if NG prices get as low as they are in the US.

assuming cheap NG cost only $11 per barrel of synthetic oil...
IIUC, Japan and Europe are paying $16/mmBTU for LNG.  Transport is ~$2/mmBTU.  How much is the feedstock for that GTL diesel at the $14/mmBTU difference?
if NG prices get as low as they are in the US.
What happens if US prices get as high as they are in Japan (minus the transport fees of course)?

BTW, a barrel of oil is about 5.8 million BTU.  At $14/mmBTU, that would cost $81.  Converted to GTL at 45%, the feedstock cost alone would be $180/bbl, almost $4.50/gallon.  For FEEDSTOCK.

Natural gas has to be really cheap to make GTL economic.  That means stranded gas.

Henry Gibson

One of the newly built gas-to-liquid units has an input gas cost of ZERO. Much methane from wells is still being flared or lost. At least it could be converted to gas carbon. Up to 40 percent of gas from the new North Dakota oil wells is being destroyed.

Delivered LNG is far more expensive than well natural gas because it must be cooled to very low temperatures after being purified.

A Zeolite can convert methanol to gasoline but not jet fuel. Methanol can also be made from syngas. Methanol could be burned in jet engines, but it is too heavy for the longest flights to be fully efficient.

Coal could be used along with natural gas to use up some excess hydrogen.


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