Gas to Liquid (GTL) technology offers some superb opportunities to bring Indonesia’s remote natural gas reserves to markets…

Feasibility Analyses Using Integrated Process Routes

Abstract

Indonesia has wealth of natural gas resources which are scattered along Indonesian archipelago. Some of these resources are still untapped and remotely located in regions outside Java. Although these resources present an excellent opportunity for further utilization of natural gas, the development of these resources is impeded by high cost of transportation. Gas to Liquid (GTL) technology offers some superb opportunities to bring Indonesia’s remote natural gas reserves to markets by converting the gas into high quality, sulphur free, ultra low aromatics and high cetane number liquid fuels, which can be transported using conventional petroleum infrastructures.

This paper reviews the emerging gas technologies and their economic considerations. Analyses on technical and economical aspects of integrated GTL application on Indonesia’s gas reserves are presented with the case study of Matindok block gas fields. Five integrated GTL process routes, which simultaneously produce ultra clean liquid fuels (diesel and naphtha), electricity and valuable chemicals, are simulated using mainly CHEMCAD process simulator. The simulation evaluates technical performances of each integrated process routes such as their synthesis gas characteristic, carbon efficiency and energy efficiencies. Profitability analyses are conducted by evaluating economical parameters such as NPV and IRR for some process routes. In addition, sensitivity analyses are also carried out to find the most sensible parameters which affect the profitability of integrated GTL plant.

The analyses results revealed that, for crude oil price 22 US$/b correspond to diesel price 29 US$/b, integrated GTL process route producing synthetic fuels, electricity and chemicals (urea) is feasible for certain natural gas reserves with modest gas price (~ 0.7 – 1 US$/MMbtu) with 30,000-40,000 bpd capacity corresponding to ~ 3-4 tcf of gas reserves. For current crude oil price 40 US$/b corresponds to diesel price 47 US$/b, integrated GTL is feasible at minimum GTL plant capacity of 1,750 bpd (~ 1 train) at gas price 1 US$/MMbtu. As for natural gas reserve with high content of carbon dioxide up to 40%, integrated GTL process with co-product acetic acid is very promising due to high price of co-product for even at higher gas prices and smaller gas fields. Finally, the energy policy needed to capitalize Indonesia’s stranded gas is also discussed.

Conclusions

Emerging gas technologies, mainly GTL, offer a key role in transporting economically natural gas from the remote reserves to viable gas markets, by value creation in natural gas value chain through more cost effective production, transportation, and conversion. Additionally, worldwide community awareness on global environmental problems and high crude oil price are the key issues in the current and near future, offering more markets for natural gas.

Using preliminary assessment of the economic of natural gas via emerging technology application, there are many opportunities to monetize Indonesia’s stranded natural gas reserves especially towards creation of non-traditional gas markets. As an example, by given a rational cost gas feed, a supportive fiscal regime, high price crude oil, application of integrated GTL for stranded Matindok gas field starts to look economically viable. Finally, the government efforts should be directed to stimulate an investment climate for more options of natural gas development particularly stranded gas.