Overview: Natural Gas Technology/Monetization (April 2006)
- John Vitucci (FMC Technologies)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- April 2006
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 85 - 85
- 2006. Copyright is retained by the author. This document is distributed by SPE with the permission of the author. Contact the author for permission to use material from this document.
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Commercialization of the world’s natural-gas resources continues to be a leading industry initiative as natural gas remains the fastest-growing resource addition to global energy supplies and we continue to embrace clean-energy initiatives. Natural-gas reserves on a global basis exceed 5,000 Tcf (Apanel 2005). Gas will increase its share of the world’s energy supply in the coming decades. ExxonMobil expects natural gas to account for 25% of the world’s total energy needs by 2030 (Donnelly 2005). Shell forecasts that natural-gas demand will grow 3% per year over the next 15 years and that demand for liquefied natural gas (LNG) will grow 8 to 10%/yr (Donnelly and Denney 2005). As gas globalization progresses, a variety of transportation and utilization methods will be needed for exploitation of remote natural-gas resources. Pipelines will continue to dominate gas transportation, but other technologies will be required to overcome ever-increasing distances between production centers and markets, overcome geopolitical barriers, and facilitate gas development from offshore developments. LNG, compressed-natural-gas (CNG), and gas-to-liquid (GTL) technologies will grow in importance as transportation and use options. LNG will continue to be the dominant technology, with CNG and GTL finding niches within the global transportation and use infrastructure. Technical advancements in LNG, CNG, and GTL continue to outpace their commercialization. Clearly, technology will not be a limiting factor in the globalization of natural gas.
The papers featured this month highlight some of the technical innovations in applying LNG and CNG to offshore gas development. As exploration and development moves into deeper waters and more-remote offshore frontiers, LNG and CNG technologies will provide developers with options in transporting gas to distant markets. GTL technology will be available in selected applications to use otherwise stranded gas and supply environmentally friendly fuels to both developed and emerging economies. Ultimately, GTL will move offshore, analogous to the evolution of LNG and CNG. The key will be to make further advancements in reducing plant complexity, size, and weight. For readers desiring a broader view of technological developments in natural-gas production, transportation, and use, I recommend the additional-reading papers.
Apanel, G. 2005. GTL Update. Paper SPE 93580 prepared for the 14th SPE Middle East Oil & Gas
Show and Conference, Bahrain, 12–15 March.
Donnelly, J. 2005. The Gas Age. JPT 57(12): 14.
Donnelly, J., and Denney, D. 2005. ATCE Sessions Tackle Contemporary Challenges Facing the Industry. JPT, 57(12): 30.
Natural Gas Technology/Monetization additional reading available at the SPE eLibrary: www.spe.org
SPE 96037 “Downhole Pressure Boosting in Natural-Gas Wells: Well-Candidate Selection and Project Progress,” by J.E.N. Liley, Corac Group plc.
SPE 95655 “Analysis of Gas-Cycling Performance in Gas/Condensate Reservoirs Using Neurosimulation,” by L.F. Ayala, SPE, Pennsylvania State U., et al.
SPE 97627 “An Inflow-Performance Relationship for Horizontal Gas Wells,” by N. Akhimiona, SPE, Chevron, et al.
SPE 95531 “Assessing Producibility of a Region’s Gas/Condensate Reservoirs,” by C.S. Kabir, SPE, Chevron, et al.
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