Global markets are preparing themselves for surges in gas supplies, as companies increasingly look to natural gas as the fuel of the future.
One of the major technological advances that has revolutionised the gas industry is Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), as well as the potential cost-saving benefits to consumers and operators of Floating LNG (FLNG).
Yet it is the processing segment of the natural gas industry that rarely receives public attention, despite its enormous importance to the entire supply chain. Since the early days of the energy industry in the 1800s, natural gas and gas liquids have supplied about one-half of total petroleum energy production in the United States alone.
The light hydrocarbons industry plays a vital role in meeting the increasing energy consumption demands of the world.
That role will be put firmly in the spotlight at the Gastech Conference & Exhibition (www.gastech.co.uk) at the ExCeL, London, from 8 - 11 October.
It is an exciting time to be involved in the gas processing section of the energy industry - but one that comes with a multitude of challenges, according to John Sheffield, of the Gas Processors Association Europe (GPAE).
Mr Sheffield said: "The gas market has grown beyond recognition in recent years and while a major part of that revolution has been LNG, it is clear that the dawn of FLNG will lead to new and exciting opportunities.
"Advances in technology have made the production previously economically unviable opportunities commercially attractive, and we are now seeing global majors investing heavily in the FLNG process. Preparations for the world's first FLNG projects are now well underway and it is critical that we as an industry take the time to understand the challenges presented by this great opportunity."
Mr Sheffield will be among the speakers involved in the Centres of Technical Excellence (CoTEs), a free-to-attend technical seminar programme on the Gastech exhibition floor.
Industry leaders joining Mr Sheffield within the same Gas Processing stream include William P. Schmidt, Technology Manager - LNG Process Engineering, at Air Products and Chemicals, who will discuss liquefaction process technology for mid-scale plants. His presentation will cover the process technologies most suitable for liquefaction of natural gas in the mid-size range, including nitrogen cycles, single mixed refrigerant and pre-cooled processes, while discussing the factors that influence process selection.
The technological challenges to be overcome by processors will also be discussed, including: measures that can be taken to prevent trace feed components from precipitating as solids during liquefaction; obtaining the proper fuel balance; and balancing the trade-off between OPEX and CAPEX.
The Gas Processing stream is a part of the comprehensive technical seminar programme comprising 12 different streams. Other top speakers at the CoTEs include chief executive officer of Sakhalin Energy, Andrei Galaev, who will discuss the Sakhalin-2 project, a sub-Arctic success story, within the Project Delivery stream, and Rustom Mody, the vice president of completions technology at Baker Hughes, who will specifically address innovative completion technologies that enhance well performance in the Unconventional Gas stream.
INFRA Technology's chief technical officer, Dr Vladimir Mordkovich, will explain the organisation's new energy transformation technologies, which enable the production of high quality, low cost synthetic oil or motor fuel from natural gas, coal, biomass or other carbon-containing feedstock.
The Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology (IMarEST) will play a key role in presenting a day-long specialist FLNG stream on Tuesday 9 October, chaired by Dr Paul Jukes, Fellow with IMarEST and president of MCS Kenny.
Created to deliver knowledge, education and awareness of new innovations and developments in gas technology, the CoTEs exhibition show floor seminars are designed to provide a platform for many of the world's most-respected industry associations and organisations. These include the Carbon Capture & Storage Association for Carbon Capture & Storage, Lloyd's Register for LNG As A Shipping Fuel, and the International Institute of Refrigeration for Cryogenics.
Registration for the Gastech Exhibition and the CoTE technical seminars are free for all industry professionals. To register, visit www.gastech.co.uk/visit-exhibition.