Natural Gas Hydrates are cage-like structures that are composed of natural gas (methane, ethane, etc.) molecules contained or entrapped within a water lattice. The hydrate structure contains tightly packed gas in ratios of over 160 to 1. Thus, there is a huge conceived upside to transporting the gas in this mode efficiency-wise if one could transport hydrates to a central processing facility where the hydrate would be processed to meet natural gas pipeline grid specifications. The question is: can they be transported in slurry form with water or oil as a carrier fluid, and what are the pros and cons of such mode of transportation. This paper attempts to answer these questions, and presents a feasibility analysis of three pipeline transportation scenarios to transport equivalent of 116 MMSCFD of natural gas over 500 km distance. It was found that for transportation of natural gas in the form of hydrates to be economically feasible, it has to be combined with transportation of crude oil as a carrying fluid rather than water, so that the cost of transportation per unit energy of the combined hydrates/oil slurry mixture is shared between the two energy commodities. This will result in even a lower cost below that of conventional transportation of natural gas in gaseous (vapour) form.
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Economic Feasibility of Transporting Natural Gas Hydrates in Slurry Pipelines
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Botros, KK, & Hall, S. "Economic Feasibility of Transporting Natural Gas Hydrates in Slurry Pipelines." Proceedings of the 2014 10th International Pipeline Conference. Volume 1: Design and Construction; Environment; Pipeline Automation and Measurement. Calgary, Alberta, Canada. September 29–October 3, 2014. V001T09A005. ASME. https://doi.org/10.1115/IPC2014-33061
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