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Return to Abstracts of Literature 1500-1749

Literature Abstracts

 1722.    KEITH, P. C.  Current Status of Synthetic Fuels.  Oil Gas Jour., vol. 47, No. 25, 1948, pp. 56-57.

       Abstract of a paper presented at the annual meeting of the Texas Mid-Continent Oil and Gas Association.  The manufacture of gas from coal and oil from gas will be the dominating synthesis processes used to supplement United States crude supplies.  Processes used for synthesizing oil from coal, gas from coal, oil from shale, and oil from gas are reviewed.  The low-pressure process of converting coal to oil is uneconomical at present, as gasoline produced in this manner would cost about $0.165 per gal., using coal worth $3.00 per ton.  Processes for synthesizing gas from coal will soon be commercialized, as gas with a B.t.u. content equivalent to that of natural gas can be manufactured and transported about 150 miles for approximately $0.136 per 1,000 cu. ft.  Because of the huge cash outlay involved, utilization of our shale deposits will not be immediate, although technically sound processes have been developed.  In order for the process to be economical, plants of 100,000 bbl. capacity or larger involving a capital outlay of some $500,000,000.00 will be required.  Processing the shale oil would require a capital outlay of $8,500.00 per bbl. of gasoline.  At this time the only commercially feasible method is the synthesis of oil from gas.  Such plants as those using Hydrocol process can be built for about $3,800.00 per bbl. per day capacity.  Allowing credit for byproducts, and a 10% amortization plus a 10% return on 50% of the capital and 4% on the remainder, gasoline can be produced at a cost of $0.0833 per gal. from gas worth $0.083 per 1,000 cu. ft.  For gas worth $0.163 the cost is about $0.0993.  There are 3 reasons why the oil industry has been slow in entering the gas-to-oil synthesis field:  Newness of the process; lack of funds due to expansion of present equipment; and the tax position.  There appears to be, however, no reason why the Government should assume control of the synthetic-oil industry.