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Gas-to-liquids projects are back on the agenda for Middle East downstream policymakers. Iran, Israel and Saudi Arabia have all announced GTL initiatives, with newly-available processes making the technology more attractive.
Recent technical advances suggest that at least some of the region’s planned new gas-to-liquids (GTL) developments might not be based around the technically complex and capital intensive Fischer-Tropsch process, as deployed in Qatar’s groundbreaking Oryx GTL and Pearl GTL projects.
Iran’s Research Institute of Petroleum Industry (RIPI) has signed a $200mn contract with local engineering firm Saff-Rosemond for construction of a 3,000 b/d GTL plant on Qeshm Island. Israel Energy Ministry, meanwhile, has requested expressions of interest from GTL technology firms for construction and operation of a GTL plant. Saudi Aramco also is investing in US process developer Siluria Technologies to commercialize a process that converts gas to fuels via ethylene.
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