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The global gas to liquid (GTL) market size was USD 5.66 billion in 2019. The global impact of COVID-19 has been unprecedented and staggering, with gas to liquids equipment witnessing a negative impact on demand across all regions amid the pandemic. Based on our analysis, the global market will exhibit a lower growth of -27% in 2020 compared to the average year-on-year growth during 2016-2019. The market is projected to grow from USD 4.14 billion in 2020 to USD 5.33 billion in 2027 at a CAGR of 3.7% in the 2020-2027 period. The rise in CAGR is attributable to this market’s demand and growth, returning to pre-pandemic levels once the pandemic is over.
Gas to liquid is a process to generate various chain hydrocarbons by utilizing the natural gas present across refineries. The refinery process is equipped with different tools to burn natural gas to yield various products such as motor oils, transport fuels, and many more. These products are colorless & odorless and are processed through three stages, including the production of synthetic gas in the first stage. In contrast, the second stage utilizes the produced synthetic gas to turn into the liquid using a catalyst. Finally, the third stage involves processes such as isomerization and cracking to alter the large molecular chains into final products.
Demand for Gas to Liquid Technology Has Declined Significantly amid COVID-19 Pandemic
The state of medical emergency caused by the abrupt spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) or COVID-19 pandemic has affected all the countries across the globe. Several nations have imposed severe restrictions to limit the transmission of a highly contagious virus. Stringent administrative measures such as national lockdowns and social distancing policies have halted the operations in all the industries with the functioning of emergency services only.
Consequently, the global gas to liquid market has also been dented by the supply-demand gap for hydrocarbon products, declining the availability of raw natural gas owing to limited drilling & production. Furthermore, nation and state-wide lockdowns have deteriorated the energy demand and also reduced the demand for various obtained products such as diesel fuel, gasoline, and kerosene due to constrained operations in residential, commercial, industrial, and transportation applications. For instance, in April 2020, the International Energy Agency (IEA) reported that the global energy demand observed a -3.8% decline during the first quarter of 2020. The organization also stated that the highest impact was observed primarily across Europe and North America, among other territories.
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Growing Collaborative Research & Development Initiatives among Industry Participants is a Prominent Trend
Different players across the industry have exhibited their interests in performing joint research & development operations to expand the reach of a wide range of products in numerous verticals. The R&D activities are also aimed at innovating the technological aspects of the production procedures to enhance the efficiency with a minimum output of unusable fuel oil. For instance, in March 2020, INFRA Synthetic Fuels, Inc., a part of the U.S.-based INFRA GTL Technology, announced to invest about USD 100 million in association with Gas Technologies LLC to boost the R&D and technological development operations. The partnership aims to fabricate an integrated gas to the liquid production system to convert natural gas and renewable gas sources into commercial-grade methanol, ultra-low sulfur diesel (USLD), naphtha, and low carbon renewable fuels.
Rapidly Increasing Energy Demand and Need for Various Hydrocarbon Products to Shape the Industry Landscape
Various emerging economies have observed a sharp increase in the overall energy consumptions, thereby boosting the global gas to liquid market growth. The rapid growth in energy intake has generated a significant demand for various sources of energy such as crude oil end products compelling the oil & gas companies to ramp up their production capacities. For example, in December 2020, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported that the total hydrocarbon production in the country was just over 16.5 million barrels per day (mbpd) in 2018 and is projected to surge around 17.5 mbpd by 2021. The national organization further cleared that natural gas plant liquids will observe a maximum increase from 4.37 mbpd to 5.27 mbpd between 2018 and 2021.
Enhanced Operational Characteristics of Derived Products to Aid Growth
Various types of products offer better combustion properties leaving a reduced amount of carbon products as compared to conventional crude oil products. It is set to act as the major factor driving the global gas to liquids market. Diminishing carbon discharges from products can significantly help various nations in achieving their short, medium, and long-term low carbon energy targets contributing towards the revival of mitigating the ozone layer and combating global warming problems.
Huge Untapped Potential of New Natural Gas Reserves to Play a Vital Role in Boosting Growth
Continuous efforts by exploration & production companies to discover new large capacity reserves to produce more hydrocarbons are set to unveil multiple opportunities for the global gas to liquid (GTL) market. The availability of ample natural gas sources can significantly increase the feed intake to boost the output of the products for consumption. For instance, in December 2020, the Energy Minister of Saudi Arabia announced the discovery of four new oil & gas reserves through the wells drilled by the national hydrocarbon giant, Saudi Aramco. The government further stated that the discoveries are located in various parts of the kingdom and possess large amounts of natural gas and crude oil.
Paradigm Shift towards Adoption of Renewable Energy Generation Technologies May Hamper Growth
Various governments and organizations have introduced stringent targets to increase the deployment of clean energy generation sources that may pose as a significant restraining factor for the global gas to liquid market. Furthermore, rising concerns over the growing carbon dioxide content in the atmosphere, along with measures to tackle the temperature rise problems, have also increased the demand for the installation of low carbon energy generation.
Fischer-Tropsch Synthesis Segment is Projected to Dominate Over the Forecast Period
The global market is bifurcated into fischer-tropsch synthesis and methanol synthesis. The fischer-tropsch synthesis segment is likely to hold the major share in the industry during the forecast timeline. This growth is owing to their ability to produce high value-added chemicals along with ultra-clean fuels more efficiently. Additionally, the methanol synthesis segment is also projected to observe significant growth backed by the increasing setup of chemical and petrochemical industries across the globe.
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Gasoline Application Segment is Anticipated to Experience Considerable Growth
Based on end-users, this industry can be primarily divided into gasoline, lubricants, and others. The gasoline segment is likely to exhibit considerable growth owing to the increasing usage of transportation fuels in a wide range of end-users such as passenger vehicles, aviation fuel, and light trucks, among others. Additionally, the lubricants application segment is also set to increased demand due to their operational advantages such as reliability, safety, economic viability, and equipment life increasing capabilities.
Middle East & Africa Gas to Liquid Market Size, 2019 (USD Billion)
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The market has been analyzed across five major regions, including Europe, Asia Pacific, North America, the Middle East & Africa, and Latin America. The Middle East & Africa is anticipated to hold the leading position in the global industry due to the presence of abundant hydrocarbon reserves, low cost of exploration & production of crude oil & natural gas, availability of various large scale GT plants, and many more.
Furthermore, the rapidly increasing energy demand coupled with a booming transportation sector with an increasing number of passengers, as well as utility vehicles, are set to add impetus to the Asia Pacific gas to liquid market. Besides, initiatives by governments to establish new infrastructures and boost the manufacturing capabilities are likely to generate the demand for different fuels to cater to the power needs in the region.
Additionally, the North American industry size is favored by encouraging government policies to explore large conventional and unconventional reserves along with significant operations in onshore and offshore reserves. For instance, as per the BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2019, the total natural gas production from the U.S. totaled about 846.6 billion cubic meters (bcm) by the end of 2019, growing from 819.9 bcm by 2018 experiencing around 3.3% year-on-year increase.
Sasol to Fortify its Market Foothold through Organic and Inorganic Expansions across the Globe
The global gas to liquid market is significantly concentrated, with key organizations shaping the industry trends globally. The GTL production technology, as well as capacity, plays a pivotal part in determining the role of various companies at different levels. Industry participants have also observed significant collaboration initiatives along with production/supply agreements to channel their products at the optimum capacity. Sasol, a South African energy and chemical technologies company, is substantially expanding its horizons through partnership contracts and hydrocarbon production agreements to enhance its output.
For instance, in December 2019, the company announced an agreement with Haldor Topsoe, a Denmark-based GTL company. The cooperation is aimed at streamlining the licensing of gas-to-liquid technology from a single point to deliver medium and global-scale GTL solutions for the production of naphtha, diesel, and kerosene by using natural gas.
An Infographic Representation of Gas to Liquid Market
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Value (USD Billion)
Technology; Application; and Region
Fortune Business Insights says that the global market size was USD 5.66 billion in 2019 and is projected to reach USD 5.33 billion by 2027.
In 2019, the Middle East & Africa market stood at USD 3.17 billion.
Registering a CAGR of 3.7%, the market is projected to exhibit positive growth during the forecast period (2020-2027).
The gasoline application segment is anticipated to dominate this market during the forecast period.
The surging demand for various crude oil end products across several verticals, better utilization advantages of the products, and the presence of huge untapped natural gas reserves are the major factors driving the market's growth.
Shell, Chevron, INFRA GTL Technology, Sasol, and Petrobras are some of the key players operating across the industry.
The Middle East & Africa dominated the market in terms of share in 2019.
Various nations possess a significant presence of natural gas reserves. Also, the unavailability of optimum GTL plants is set to attract investments for new facilities. Furthermore, the introduction of new plants to complement the bulk natural gas production from reserves located in nations including the U.K., Brazil, and the U.S., will propel the demand for gas to liquid products.
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