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Intro to business - Assignment Example

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In the present process of transformation (Fischer-Tropsch technology) the natural gas is first converted into “syngas” (carbon monoxide and hydrogen…
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Introduction to Business Why is the development of the new transformation process GTL (gas-to-liquids) so important? The development of new Gas to liquid transformation process is required because the existing process is an indirect one. In the present process of transformation (Fischer-Tropsch technology) the natural gas is first converted into “syngas” (carbon monoxide and hydrogen combined). This is later on followed by the reaction to liquid fuels.
The second reason is that the existing methods are far more expensive than one could imagine.
Engineers all around the world are working to come-up with new and direct method of converting the natural gas into liquid. Recently, Texas A&M University’s research team has found the direct conversion method. It has three reaction steps and two separation steps (Hall, 2005.). This all new process will reduce the cost of production greatly and make this fuel economical for the consumers as well.
What are some of the production or operational barriers that shell must overcome in order to make GTL successful?
The shell had in the past suffered from a production stoppage due to the fire eruption at their Bintulu, Malaysian plant in 1997. This resulted in the discontinuity of the Gas to Liquid process because at that time only one plant of the Shell was operational. But now they have developed a new GLT plant that is ten times more in its production capacity, as compared to the Malaysian plant, in Doha, Qatar. By the way it is the world’s largest GLT plant, Shell’s forty years of research has paid back to them in an impressive manner. Qatar has the largest reserves of natural gas in the world as well.
Second thing the Shell should use cheap transportation methods in order to make it (fuel) affordable for the people globally. Natural gas is mostly available in the remote areas and it costs a lot to transport the final product from those areas to the reach of the people.
The Shell should also switch to the direct production method for GLT. This will help them to reduce their production cost greatly. This reduction in production cost would be then transferred to the ultimate consumers.
These measures will help them a lot to make their GLT product successful. Shell is a pioneer in this technology and has more than two thousand patents for different stages of GLT production.
Should shell continue the GTL project if it fails to pay off in five years?
Over the last forty years Shell has poured billions of dollars in their new GLT technology in order to provide efficient and cost effective fuel alternative to the people. Five year time to judge the success or failure of this project is like a pinch of salt in flour. These sort of projects require sometime to reach the breakeven and also in reaping profits. GLT will be really fruitful for the Shell because of the price hike of petroleum products globally. Moreover they know that they will harvest success as more and more people are becoming conscious to minimize their footprints on the planet earth.
Reference
Hall, K. R., (2005), “A new gas to liquid (GTL) or gas to ethylene (GTE) technology.” Elsevier, p no. 245 Read More
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