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GTL breakthrough for Statoil

October 11, 2006, 11:00 CEST

Statoil's latest technology for producing liquid fuel from gas is ready for commercial expansion.


Vice President Roger Johansen heads Statoil's GTL initiative. (Photo: Harald Pettersen)

Statoil, together with PetroSA and Lurgi, has had success demonstrating a technological solution for so-called gas-to-liquids (GTL).

"This is a breakthrough for Statoil's and our partner's GTL technology," says vice president Roger Johansen who heads Statoil's GTL initiative. "Our goal is to demonstrate and ready the technology for full-scale production. This we have now achieved."

The three partners formed GTL.F1 last year, a company that will upscale and commercialise GTL technology. Since 2004, the partners have tested the solution at PetroSA's production complex at Mossel Bay in South Africa.

The complex is of semi-commercial size and the reactor itself is the world's largest in its class. The GTL complex has been in continuous operation in 2006 and it has produced as planned in much of this time.

Since 1986, Statoil has developed patent-protected GTL technology. The principal is built on the Fisher-Tropsch process, a chemical reaction where natural gas is fed into the complex and converted to liquid hydrocarbons, mainly in the form of diesel and naphtha.

"GTL is yet another example of Statoil's ability to develop and commercialise new technology," says Mr Johansen. "Through the joint owned company GTL.F1, the technology gives Statoil an important tool for achieving our ambitions in international growth. This places Statoil in a position to take part in gas projects that require a GTL solution."