Sasol, Talisman Energy consider GTL in western Canada

20 December 2010 12:16  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Sasol is to invest C$1.05bn  (R7.12bn, $1.04bn) in shale gas in western Canada and will consider a regional gas to liquids (GTL) plant, the South Africa oil and chemicals group said on Monday.

The company has agreed to acquire a 50% stake in Talisman Energy’s Farrell Creek Gas shale gas assets in Montney Basin, British Columbia. The partners will conduct a feasibility study for the use of GTL to market the gas..

They believe that GTL could be an economic alternative to marketing the gas through the North American pipeline system or by liquefaction.

A regional GTL plant would use Sasol’s GTL technology.

Under the agreement with Sasol, Talisman would continue to operate Farrell Creek gas-gathering and processing facilities and retain a 50% interest in the assets which, Sasol said, represented a resource of 9,600bn cubic feet of gas.

“The acquisition of this high quality natural gas asset will accelerate our upstream growth while also potentially advancing Sasol’s already strong GTL value proposition utilising our proprietary technology,” Sasol chief executive, Pat Davies, said.

“We’re very pleased to be partnering with an experienced international shale gas operator such as Talisman, allowing us to reap the dual benefit of leveraging their experience, as we grow our own shale gas expertise,” he added.

"The company believes that there has been a structural shift in the dynamics between natural gas and oil, making GTL an even more attractive value proposition," Sasol said in a statement.

"Recent advances in shale gas technology have fundamentally changed natural gas market dynamics in North America, enabling shale gas to become an economically feasible alternative to conventional natural gas.  Sasol believes that this market shift provides it with an opportunity to not only accelerate growth within its upstream portfolio by way of the acquisition of high quality natural gas assets but also to accelerate its GTL value proposition."

Sasol’s 32,400 bbl/day Oryx GTL project in Qatar with Qatar Petroleum has reached 100% availability after considerable start-up operating problems and hold-ups and some expansion is being considered.

The South Africa-based oil, gas and chemicals company has a stake in a GTL project with National Nigerian Petroleum and Chevron Nigeria in Nigeria which is currently under construction. It is studying with Malaysia’s Petronas a GTL project in Shurtan, Uzbekistan.

The GTL process produces diesel, naphtha and liquefied petroleum gas (a mixture of propane and butane).

($1 = C$1.01, R6.85)

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By: Nigel Davis
+44 20 8652 3214

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