Conversion of natural gas to premium quality diesel and naphtha gears the marketing of GTL products to the premium end of the transportation fuel markets. There is a significant potential market for high quality and low impurity synthetic hydrocarbon transportation fuels and chemical feedstock, which meets the future high standard environmental regulations. GTL fuels (up to 2020) will not be available in quantities sufficient to support anything but niche markets. However they may ultimately play a role in formulating new classes of fuels with improved properties.
The main demands for petroleum products derived from natural gas are:
1- Recent worldwide legislations which requires high quality and cleaner transportation fuels. GTL products have nearly zero sulphur and low aromatics.
2- Presently due to high standard of fuel required in some countries, refiners need to upgrade their existing products. Consequently, GTL fuels will be blended into conventional fuels, rather than sold separately as speciality fuels in the initial stage.
3- In some countries the required demand for diesel could be met from natural gas allowing more oil exports.
Naphtha produced from GTL process will most likely be used for steam cracker rather than reformer feedstock due to its paraffinicity. It could be also blended with petroleum derived naphtha.
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