Thanks to horizontal drilling and multi-stage fracing, the US is now neck-and-neck with Russia for the world’s number-one producer. In addition to developments in the US, substantial new natural gas discoveries, including those in the North West Shelf of Australia, East Africa and the Eastern Mediterranean, mean that the world has an abundant, a clean, and—depending on where you live—a relatively inexpensive energy source.
Abundant supply is driving two major industry trends. As more natural gas is used as an energy source and as a feedstock, the demand for transport, storage and processing will increase dramatically. At Gulf Publishing Company, we track gas processing projects through Hydrocarbon Processing’s Construction Boxscore Database. We have seen an increase of 39% in new gas processing projects in the US in the last year alone. This is a substantial trend, and one we believe will continue with year-on-year increases for the next five years of 10%/year or more.
The second trend we see is in innovative uses of gas. As gas has become more abundant and the price has dropped, we have seen companies deploy natural gas for new and pioneering uses. Natural gas is taking the place of crude as a feedstock for petrochemicals production. Major new GTL plants are planned for the first time in the US. Also, mini-GTL plants and micro-LNG units are being moved to production sites, both onshore and offshore. We have seen mini-GTLs being used at drilling sites and on FPSOs, as well as micro-LNG units and dual-fuel engines at drilling sites to power rigs and pressure pumping equipment.
This time in the energy industry has been called “The Golden Age of Gas.” What that means for our industry is the number, size and scope of projects will grow. That’s good for all of us. Just as important and good for our industry is that innovation in the use of this God-given natural resource will provide efficiencies throughout exploration, production, processing and transportation.
As we do with our other publications, World Oil and Hydrocarbon Processing, Gas Processing will provide you with information on practical technology and trends to keep you informed and help you do your job better.
This inaugural issue of Gas Processing pursues those ends with features on the global gas processing construction outlook by Lee Nichols of Gulf Publishing Company, a discussion of LNG supply and demand by Nelly Mikhael of FACTS Global Energy, an article on technologies for small-scale LNG by Joseph Pak of Cosmodyne, and a discussion of shale trends from Vantage Point Energy. In addition, Pramod Kulkarni, editor of World Oil, offers an article on the innovative use of natural gas for drilling and fracturing operations.
The “Golden Age of Gas” spans the upstream, midstream and downstream, and therefore does not fit neatly into the categories under which Gulf Publishing Company has delivered content to the oil and gas industry for the past 100 years. So, we created new media to serve the increasingly important gas processing industry. Gas Processing will be published quarterly in 2013 and six times in 2014. In July 2013, we will introduce www.gasprocessingnews.com, which will house news, articles, resources, and our database of gas processing projects.
Please let us know what you think of this new information resource and how we can tailor it to help you, the gas processing industry professional. I hope that this issue is the first step in a long and prosperous journey. GP
JOHN T. ROYALL is President and Chief Executive Officer of Gulf Publishing Company. Mr. Royall has extensive experience in business-to-business media and events, including 25 years in business publishing. A graduate of the University of Texas, and with graduate work at George Washington University and the University of Munich, he held executive positions at Reed Elsevier before joining Gulf as President and CEO in 2009. Mr. Royall is a member of the Executive Committee of the American Fuels and Petrochemical Manufacturers Association (AFPM) and the Independent Petroleum Association of America, and he serves on a number of boards, including the Education Committee of IPAA/PESA and the Oilfield Christian Fellowship.
The ongoing development of shale gas resources in the US has spurred infrastructure construction for both natural gas processing capacity and LNG export terminals.
Russian natural gas monopoly Gazprom is strengthening its presence in the gas market of the Middle East through the planned construction of an 11-metric-MMtpy–12-metric-MMtpy LNG plant in Iran.
The New LNG Imperative
The shale gas boom established the US as the world’s leading natural gas producer and is responsible for billions of dollars of investments in the US gas processing industry. Since 2012, the US has witnessed unprecedented growth in new gas processing capacity and infrastructure. This rise is due to greater production of domestic shale gas, which is providing cheap, available feedstock to fuel the domestic gas processing, LNG and petrochemical industries. New gas processing projects include the construction of billions of cubic feet per day of new cryogenic and gas processing capacity, NGL fractionators, multi-billion-dollar pipeline infrastructure projects, and the development of millions of tons per year of new LNG export terminal construction. Attend this webcast to hear from Lee Nichols, Editor/Associate Publisher, Hydrocarbon Processing, Scott Allgood, Director-Data Services, Energy Web Atlas and Peregrine Bush, Senior Cartographic Editor, Petroleum Economist as they discuss the future of LNG and the application of Energy Web Atlas, a web-based GIS platform which allows users to track real-time information for every LNG project.
November 29, 2017 10am CST