Conversion of natural gas to oil (white crude)
- Yesterday (Sunday) the Houston Chronicle had several very interesting articles about gas-to-liquid transformation (GTL for short), which looks to me like a very good possibility for solving our oil shortage, or at least buying a lot of time to do so.
There are huge volumes of "stranded" natural gas reserves (no pipeline connections available) in Africa, Russia, the Middle East, and elsewhere, and incredible amounts of gas produced with oil are being flared at present. If this gas could be converted to liquid fuels, there is enough produce 10.5 trillion gallons of fuels such as diesel and jet fuel. Put another way, that's like discovering another Saudi Arabia.
The resulting GTL could be transported in convention tankers and would not require special equipment to liquify, transport, and regassify as LNG (liquified natural gas) does. And unlike diesel refined from crude oil, diesel manufactured from natural gas has no detectable sulfur and almost no particulates, both major causes of air pollution.
This process is already economical at oil costs of $20 per barrel. It looks to me like this is where we should be spending research money to reduce the cost even more.
The entire articles can be read at: