|dc.description.abstract||Global proven and speculative natural gas reserves are enormous.
Unfortunately, much of these reserves is economically stranded and as a result,
can not be profitably utilized using traditional methods. In another development,
crude oil refiners are facing increasing pressures to produce clean fuels.
Environmentalists are asking for such clean fuels that will force refiners to make
outrageously high refinery-modification investments.
Fischer- Tropsch Gas-to-Liquids (F-T GTL) technology may offer a sustainable
solution to these challenges. On one hand, F-T GTL promises to economically
monetize stranded natural gas reserves. On the other hand, F-T GTL is capable
of producing fuels with qualities that surpass the most stringent current and
future clean-fuel requirements.
A competitive landscape is thus formed: gas utilization options on one side;
automobile fuel production on the other side; and F-T GTL in the centre. The
question is: how competitive is F-T GTL in this landscape?
In response, I developed a real-time economic model using (amongst others) the
Monte Carlo Method. The model captures the competitive landscape as defined,
and compares the viability of competitors in the landscape, using different
In the study I present a ranking of the competing options in the landscape
in descending order of viability, based on the relative sizes of their NPVs as
estimated for each baseline scenario. Finally, I interpret the rankings.
Based on the outcome of this research, the answer to the question of whether
the current interest in F-T GTL will be sustained or not is an emphatic 'yes'.||