Global Gas To Liquid (GTL) market valuation was around USD 8.4 billion in 2014 and is expected to grow at an estimated CAGR of around 6.5% from 2015 to 2020. Increasing concerns over fossil fuel depletion and demand for alternative energy sources are expected to foster industry growth over the forecast period.
Increasing demand for the Fischer-Tropsch (FT) route in order to monetize natural gas reserves that are stranded and unavailable for use is likely to boost demand for the technology. Scarce natural gas reserves and increasing power demand from burgeoning end-use industries across the globe are expected to pressurize alternative energy providers. Conversion of methane-rich gases into economic, clean synthetic fuels is likely to foster GTL technology growth.
Exponential industrial growth of numerous developing and developed countries such as China, India, UAE and the U.S., Germany, and the UK has driven concerns regarding conventional resource scarcity and depletion. These nations are increasingly adopting GTLs to meet carbon emission targets by improving fuel efficiency in existing operations.
Development of stringent environmental regulations by numerous governments to control pollution and promote cleaner fuel sources is further expected to complement industry growth. Guidelines implemented such as Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board Act, 2006, Oilfields (Regulation and Development) Act of 1948, and Oil Industry (Development) Act, 1974 are likely to encourage GTL application in diverse end-use industries to conserve natural gas and other resources.
Several companies are increasingly producing synthetic, ‘green’ fuels by utilizing GTL services. As per World Bank estimates, over 150 billion m3 of flare gas is extracted annually, which can easily be transformed into convenient synthetic fuel using the technology. These factors are further anticipated to boost demand in natural gas-rich nations such as Russia, Iran, Qatar, the U.S., Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and Venezuela.
Rising transportation requirements in numerous nations is further anticipated to foster GTL market development. The sector currently consumes over a fifth of global energy supply and is expected to be driven by increasing affordable motor vehicles sales. Abundant natural gas reserves which can be developed at a relatively low-cost offer ample opportunities for market participants as well. Increasing development of smaller sized micro-channel reactors in Asia Pacific nations such as China, Japan, and India is likely to foster the GTL industry. However, increasing number of fixed and slurry-based reactors coupled with high capital investment costs is expected to hamper market growth.
The market can be segmented as per product size into small-scale plant and large-scale plant. Further segmentation on the basis of processing technology includes the Methanol to Gasoline (MTG), Fischer-Tropsch (FT), and Syngas to gasoline plus process. FT process was the largest segment owing to high demand for partial oxidation of hydrogen and natural gas, followed by a cracking process. MTG process is also anticipated to witness growing popularity over the forecast period. GTL technology can be utilized for diverse end-use industries that include refineries, petrochemicals, industrial, transportation, energy, and power among others.
Regional segmentation includes Europe, Asia Pacific (APAC), North America, Middle East and Africa (MEA) and Central and South America. Most plants are currently located in Mozambique, Nigeria, Qatar, South Africa, leading to high consumption in MEA. Increasing plant construction owing to rising energy consumption in Malaysia, Singapore, Japan, China, and India is expected to boost demand in APAC. The regional market is thus likely to emerge as the fastest growing segment over the forecast period.
Major GTL industry participants include Linc Energy, Compact GTL, Primus Green Energy, Chevron Corporation, Royal Dutch Shell, Sasol Limited, Velocys, Gas Techno, NRG Energy, Ventech Engineers, and Petrobras among others. The market is relatively consolidated among top players in the industry, owing to high entry barriers such as high capital costs, raw material scarcity, and intensive technology that thwart new entrants.
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