In recent years, is increasing the need of comparing on a high-level technical and economic point of view, different midstream gas valorization technologies with reference to the development of specific natural gas resources. Tools available on the market do not properly cover midstream components, specifically when novel technologies are concerned.
Eni has developed the Gas Monetization Technology Mapping (GMTM) tool, an integrated techno-economic model with the objective to generate for a certain scenario plant size, simplified H&M balances, preliminary economics and profitability indexes related to one or more midstream technologies. The technologies covered are: LNG, Small Scale LNG (SSLNG), Floating LNG (FLNG), Gas-to-Liquids (GTL), pipelines, Gas-to-Power, Gas to Methanol and Ammonia-Urea plants.
Stand-alone techno-economic models have been developed with typical input parameters, depending also on the technology, as: flowrate/plant size, availability, feed gas composition, destination market, distance, location, economic inputs, etc. The methodology adopted consists in scaling-up/down of cost estimates starting from dedicated case studies and in generating simplified H&M balances. Main outputs are investment and operating costs, levelized costs ($/MBtu, $/MWh, etc.), economics & profitability indexes.
Potential benefits from the use of this tool in Oil&Gas industry are: standardize the approach to gas monetization studies, enable fast screening of midstream alternatives, focus scenarios to be analysed in more detailed studies, valuable contribution in transforming technically recoverable gas resources into economically exploitable ones by midstream technologies.
Distance to market and potential production volumes, depending on the reserves size of the gas resource, influence the technologies that might viably be used to exploit remote gas fields. Niche markets exist for smaller scale LNG and GTL projects for gas fields with modest reserves, but these potentially attractive alternatives have been scarcely embraced by the industry .
Furthermore, the situation on the market notices the absence of dedicated tools (software, simulators, etc.) capable of adequately covering the conventional midstream sector and the most innovative technologies. More specifically, commonly used suites (i.e. Que$tor®-HIS, ), very advanced in the upstream field, have not yet deployed applications for the midstream sector.