Study on the Small Scale Conversion of Natural Gas to Methanol – An Opportunity for Using Pennsylvania Generated Natural Gas?
Thanks to shale gas, cheap and plentiful natural gas has led to new attention and interest in various natural gas monetization options. One promising option is the production of methanol using small-scale plants, which offer many advantages. The first advantage is that methanol prices track those of oil thereby providing a significant arbitrage to exploit if the natural gas feedstock is available as cheaply as it is in the U.S. Second, small-scale methanol plants have lower capital costs in comparison to traditional large plants making them attractive to a wider range of investors. Third, methanol is a liquid chemical product that can be transported easily and cost-effectively offering the ability to monetize natural gas from fields that are remote, have limited pipeline connectivity, or have relatively poor production or economics. Finally, methanol is a versatile chemical with multiple applications and end-uses. This presentation will explore the potential of small-scale methanol plants in North America.