Hydrocarbon Transportation Analysis

Identifying the best option for moving hydrocarbons to market

Maximizing the return from any crude oil resource requires optimization of each project element. This includes transportation to market, where the project will aim to minimize costs involved in moving crude oil volumes. Assessing the relative attractiveness of movement via pipeline or tankers forms a core element of GCA’s project feasibility analysis work.

GCA’s infrastructure specialists can assess likely costs of pipeline transportation (taking into account anticipated production profile), via tariff assessment when using existing pipeline infrastructure, through to analyzing the technical and economic feasibility of building new pipeline capacity. At a conceptual level, GCA can scope an appropriate pipeline routing, and develop appropriate pipeline capital and operating costs while taking into account expected throughput profile, topography and materials. Similarly, we are able to analyze the likely costs of moving crude oil volumes by marine tankers. At a conceptual level, the likely capital and operating costs involved in commissioning a newbuild tanker, and an assessment of time charter rates based on prospects for shipping markets, must be considered. For both, GCA will also consider the strategic risk aspects of any transportation choice, focussing particularly on the potential for supply-to-market disruption.

For refined products, GCA applies a similar approach when considering shipment via single- or multi-product pipelines, or tanker, where we analyze the prospects for ”clean” and ”dirty” tanker rates. This is an integral element of assessing the economic feasibility of targeting sales into a particular market.

In the gas arena, where the scale of gas resource allows, our experience of LNG project development, transportation and end-markets enables GCA to assess the feasibility of moving gas in liquid form; capabilities which also extend to investigating the economics of delivering bulk gas to distant markets in compressed or hydrate form. In parallel, having established end-market pricing and offtake drivers, GCA can also examine gas pipeline supply options, using in-house development cost data and our economic models to assess the overall feasibility of pipeline gas deliveries.