ExxonMobil, Syntroleum sign GTL pact

By OGJ editors

HOUSTON, Jan. 7 -- ExxonMobil Research & Engineering Co. has granted Syntroleum Corp., Tulsa, a worldwide license under its gas-to-liquids (GTL) patents to produce and sell fuels from natural gas or other carbonaceous substances such as coal.

The agreement covers synthetic-gas production, Fischer-Tropsch (FT) synthesis, and product upgrading to make fuels and various processes that relate to these areas. It includes all existing ExxonMobil patents in these areas and future improvement patents over the next several years. Syntroleum will have the right to extend the terms of the agreement to its licensees.

The agreement does not include patents covering certain catalyst formulations and manufacturing steps.

Syntroleum has developed its own proprietary, patented air-based GTL process over the last 20 years, which it is using in its Catoosa demonstration facility near Tulsa. The Syntroleum process also is the basis for its GTL Barge concept, which it is using to pursue development of gas deposits far from pipelines and markets (OGJ Online, Mar. 1, 2004). If Syntroleum obtains patents that overlap ExxonMobil's patents after this license agreement, Syntroleum has agreed to not enforce its patents against EMRE and its affiliates in those areas.

ExxonMobil has been offering licenses to more than 3,500 worldwide patents of its GTL technology.

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