Statoil Begins GTL Output in South Africa

Production has begun from the semi-commercial gas-to-liquid (GTL) plant at Mossel Bay in South Africa, which is owned 50 percent by Statoil.

This facility is intended to demonstrate technology developed by the group as a step towards its adoption in commercial production lines.

The plant was ready in March, with the first hydrocarbons fed in on April 19th. Output was up to 50 percent of capacity by May 18th, when synthetic oil and wax production began.

"This marks the first step towards providing a new tool which can help us to realise our international growth ambitions," says Roger Johansen, Statoil's acting vice president for GTL.

Plans call for the facility to reach a normal level of activity during 2004, and for the technical concept to be approved by the partners over the same period.

The demonstration phase is due to be completed by the end of 2005, when the technology will be ready for application in full-scale commercial plants.

Statoil has collaborated in developing the Mossel Bay installation with the South African state oil company PetroSA, which operates the world's largest GTL plant.

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