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The “New Normal” in the Price of Crude Oil Affects Gas Monetization Projects
Posted on 01/21/2015 by Ron Sills

The “New Normal” in the price of crude oil is a structural shift primarily caused by the shale revolution in North America. At first, the shale revolution created new opportunities for monetizing natural gas by producing abundant and low-cost supplies in North America. However, now the shale revolution is creating new challenges due to increasing supplies of crude oil which are partially responsible for the current collapse in oil prices and the uncertainty about future prices. Since the market value of gas monetization products such as transportation fuels via GTL, methanol, ammonia and LNG are significantly affected by global oil prices, the economics of gas monetization projects are stressed. 

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Renewable DME as a Propane Blend Stock: Latest Developments in U.S.
Posted on 12/22/2020; by Ron Sills
Suburban Propane, the third largest retail distributor of propane in the U.S., purchased a 39% stake in Oberon Fuels, in September, and committed to additional investments to support ongoing development of innovative solutions to reduce carbon emissions. Oberon Fuels and Suburban Propane, in collaboration with SHV Energy, U-Haul and Roush CleanTech, are progressing activities to produce renewable DME (rDME) and demonstrate its use as a propane blend stock for autogas. The California Air Resources Board (CARB) amended California’s low carbon fuel standard requiring a 20% reduction in carbon intensity (CI) of the state’s fuel supply by 2030. CARB states that a 5% blend of rDME, when produced from biogas decreases propane’s baseline carbon intensity value from 83 to 65. With a 20% blend, the CI value decreases to just 11; thereby approaching carbon neutrality. This effort was inspired by the pioneering work by Amoco in the 1990s, which tested DME blends in propane, and demonstrated it as autogas in a 1988 Buick Century car (U.S. Patent 5,632,786; Basu, Fleisch et.al.; Process and Fuel for Spark Ignition Engines; 1997).