(350d) Valorization of Natural Gas Liquids from Shale Gas

Ridha, T., Purdue University
Li, Y., Purdue University
Miller, J. T., Purdue University
Ribeiro, F., Purdue University
Agrawal, R., Purdue University
Recent shale gas boom has transformed the US energy landscape. Most of the major shale basins are located in remote locations and historically non-gas producing region. Therefore, many major shale basins regions are lacking the infrastructure to distribute the extracted gas into the rest of the US and particularly the Gulf Coast region. Here, we propose a new shale gas valorization process that converts natural gas liquids (NGLs) in shale gas into higher molecular weight hydrocarbon, which is more valuable to transport from these remote basins than NGL or its constituents such as ethane and propane.

In this process, natural gas liquid is transformed to higher molecular weight hydrocarbon. Compared with the existing technologies, our new approach has the following advantages: (1) This process minimizes the production of by-products. (2) This process is amenable to size reduction.

We demonstrate that, through a case study for a 96 MMSCFD shale gas feed from the Bakken region, the total capital cost for the proposed process is much cheaper than existing Gas-to-Liquid (GTL) processes such as Fischer-Tropsch and Methanol-to-Gasoline process. Also, we estimate the break-even price for our process to be lower than GTL-Fischer-Tropsch process. Therefore, this new process is an economically attractive step to upgrade shale gas in remote shale basins.