The Gas-to-Liquid (GTL) industry is witnessing a monotonic growth that is expected to increase the liquid fuel production from currently 51,000 bbl/day to approximately 1.3 millions bbl/day by year 2015. GTL appears to be a viable and promising solution for the future of alternative and cleaner energy technologies. Recent advances in GTL technology have lowered the cost to the level where GTL plants are profitable at crude oil prices of $23/bbl, for a 10% rate of return, and an annual operating expenditure (OPEX) that is 7% of a $40,000 per-barrel-a-day capital expenditure (CAPEX). Technology advancements, reflected mainly in the reduction of the capital costs are likely to lower this price to about $11.5 for a 10% rate of return and a 7% OPEX of a $20,000 PBD CAPEX. At a current CAPEX value of approximately $35,714 BPD for a number of oil companies, crude oil price lower than $20/bbl would place this particular GTL venture in an area of economic uncertainty.

The expansion of the GTL industry is likely to place the GTL industry in direct competition with the liquefied natural gas (LNG) industry for access to natural gas supply. By year 2015, GTL units are likely to consume about 4.75 tcf/year and LNG units will consume approximately 7.25 tcf/year. Together, this represents a fifty-year consumption of 600 tcf from the world natural gas reserves. This fifty-year consumption of both GTL and LNG plants represents only 20% of the proven stranded gas reserves that currently stand at about 3006 tcf. The global GTL industry will consume about 8% of the world stranded natural gas reserves, or 4% of the world proven natural gas reserves, for the same 50-year production-period. These statistics indicate that there are plenty of gas resources for the continuity of both the GTL and the LNG industries in the long term future.

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