Deal could change natural gas production in northeast

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Natural gas production in northeast B.C. could be facing some new prospects.

Sasol, a South African petrochemicals corporation, and Talisman Energy reached a $1.05 billion deal back in December. Sasol is a front runner in gas to liquid (GTL) production and, as part of the deal, it will acquire 50 per cent of the working interest in Talisman’s Farrell Creek operations in the Montney Shale Play.

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Sasol will be conducting a two-year-long feasibility study to determine whether it is commercially viable for the company to build a GTL plant for the natural gas coming out of the Montney Play, says Phoebe Buckland, a spokesperson for Talisman.

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GTL fuel diversifies the products that can be used from natural gas production. The types of synthetic fuels that can be produced include diesel, naphtha, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), and jet fuel.

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Buckland says natural gas converted fuels are considered cleaner than traditional fuels, producing fewer carbon emissions.

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Buckland says if the companies decide to construct a GTL plant, it will still be a number of years away and there will be significant costs associated with its construction.

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Recently, the price of natural gas in the markets has been teetering between three and five dollars per million British thermal units. Despite a recently released report by the Petroleum Services Association of Canada that says the low natural gas price is due to oversupply in the markets, Buckland says Talisman is excited to explore further uses for natural gas in northeast B.C.

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