Qatar is using cheap natural gas to cut car pollution. Texas can do it too
Texas A&M’s Gas and Fuels Research Center in Qatar houses possibly the most advanced GTL research facility in the world. Royal Dutch Shell has research labs in Qatar Science & Technology Park, which has been instrumental in the technology developed by the South African energy company, Sasol. Shell and Sasol both have significant GTL plants in Qatar. The research that went into building the plants that turn natural gas into clean-burning diesel has largely been conducted by Texas A&M University at Qatar.
“The key to investing in GTL technology is to build the plant when the price of oil is going up,” said Nimir Elbashir, director of Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station Gas and Fuels Research Center based in Qatar and Texas. “Qatar, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Nigeria are geographically perfect for GTL production because the feedstock is right there and effectively free.” But in the U.S., GTL makes economic sense if oil costs $100 a barrel, nearly twice as high as it has been trading recently.
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