Kazakhstan Inks Deal for Small-Scale Gas-to-Liquids Plant

By Trent Jacobs 17 Mar 2014

The government of Kazakhstan has entered into an agreement with CompactGTL to build what the company says will be the world’s first commercial, small-scale, gas-to-liquids (GTL) plant. The announcement was made in early March after CompactGTL Chairman Tony Hayward signed a memorandum of cooperation in London with Kanatbek Safinov, the executive secretary of Kazakhstan’s ministry of oil and gas. The company expects the plant to be online by 2017, after a yearlong engineering phase and then two years of construction. The deal is valued at around USD 300 million.

“We are very pleased to be able to announce the decision to build the first small-scale commercial GTL plant,” Hayward said. “This is a significant step forward, not just for CompactGTL, but also for the small-scale gas-to-liquids industry. Kazakhstan has clearly identified the significant economic benefits a small-scale GTL plant can bring.”

CompactGTL specializes in the development of small-scale GTL plants that take associated gas and convert it into synthetic fuels via the Fischer-Tropsch chemical process. The proposed plant will convert and monetize almost 29 MMcf/d of associated gas gathered from Kazakhstan’s oilfields into 3,000 B/D of synthetic diesel, reducing the amount of flared gas by about 10.6 Bcf per year.

The deal with CompactGTL is the latest effort by the Kazakhstan government to boost industrial development of the country through investments in emerging oil and gas technologies. “I believe that this innovative project will both help solve a number of social and environmental issues in the Republic of Kazakhstan and be mutually commercially beneficial for the parties,” Safinov said in a press statement.

CompactGTL was featured in JPT last year in an article about the development of the small-scale GTL market and the various technologies involved. In 2010, the company finished the installation of a demonstration plant owned by Petrobras that is capable of producing 20 B/D of syncrude from 200 Mcf/d of gas.

Trent Jacobs is a Technology Writer for the Journal of Petroleum Technology.