Remote, offshore gas reserves have long been a challenging deepwater petroleum resource to tap. Natural gas in many offshore regions is plentiful, but lacks access to the market because of the logistical challenges and costs. Most large offshore gas discoveries are capped, and gas associated with oil production is re-injected into the reservoir or is flared. A more attractive option is to convert the gas into a liquid product on a floating production, storage, and offloading (FPSO) vessel. However, some conventional process technologies are not well suited for operation on floating vessels that are highly space and weight constrained and may challenge vessel stability during inclement weather. Microchannel process technology units under development offer intensified processes that are suitable for offshore production of methanol from natural gas; thereby capitalizing on vast, untapped natural gas reserves. Microchannel process technology is typically applied to individual or a few unit operations, but rarely to an entire chemical plant – inclusive of multiple reactors, phase separation, and distillation for product purification – where each is a microchannel-based unit operation configured into a novel system.

Source:  http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1385894707004998