FEATURE: GTL goes small-scale as oil prices challenge project economics

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In a world of cheap, abundant natural gas and scarce, costly oil, a technology that can convert methane into premium synthetic oil products – such as naphtha, diesel, jet fuel and high-spec lubricant base oils – and high-value waxes is an attractive proposition.

In Qatar during the mid-2000s, and again in North America during the early 2010s, such market conditions sparked considerable investor interest in gas-to-liquids (GTL) projects, based largely on the Fischer-Tropsch (FT) process developed by two German scientists almost a century ago.

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