Biofuels Power has signed a letter of intent with ThyssenKrupp Industrial Solutions and Liberty GTL to build a small-scale gas-to-liquid (GTL) demonstration facility in Houston.
The pilot plant will commercially demonstrate converting stranded natural gas resources to synthetic crude oil. Its focus will be to optimize design and operability of small-scale GTL facilities capable of converting five to 10 million cubic feet per day of natural gas into about 500 bbls per day of synthetic crude oil.
The companies plan to have the plant up and running by Dec. 31.
Biofuels Power says GTL projects of this size may be attractive to operating companies confronted with curtailing production or, in the extreme case, ceasing production due to capital cost barriers related to expansion of natural gas gathering, processing and transmission infrastructure. These “stranded gas wells” would be released for production if the planned GTL units could process the natural gas immediately after completion of the well.
Biofuels Power will operate the GTL Pilot Plant for the two-year demonstration. Thyssen Krupp will provide technical services and contribute a previously operating auto-thermal reformer pilot plant (ATR), which will be used to generate synthesis gas feedstock for the production of synthetic crude oil. Liberty will provide intellectual property and operating know-how regarding crude oil synthesis along with the relevant catalyst supply.
Last month, Maverick Synfuels and Petrostar Petroleum formed Maverick Northstar, a joint venture to facilitate the deployment and operation of GTL technology in the Canadian Provinces of Alberta, British Columbia and Saskatchewan.