27 July 2006

Qatar Petroleum and Royal Dutch Shell plc announced the launch of the world’s biggest integrated Pearl Gas to Liquids (GTL) project in Qatar.

The Pearl GTL project includes the development of offshore natural gas resources in Qatar’s North Field, transporting and processing the gas to extract natural gas liquids and ethane, and the conversion of the remaining gas into liquid hydrocarbon products through the construction of the GTL complex in Ras Laffan Industrial City.

Upstream, some 1.6 billion cubic feet per day of gas will be produced from the North Field and transported and processed to produce approximately 120,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day of condensate, liquefied petroleum gas and ethane. The North Field is considered to be the largest single non-associated gas reservoir in the world with estimated recoverable resources in excess of 900 trillion cubic feet. Over its lifetime the integrated project will produce upstream resources of approximately 3 billion barrels of oil equivalent.

Downstream, dry gas will be used as feedstock for a new onshore integrated GTL complex which will manufacture an additional 140,000 barrels per day of liquid hydrocarbon products. The Pearl GTL complex will consist of two 70,000 b/d GTL trains and associated facilities. The plant will produce a range of clean liquid products and fuels, comprising naphtha, GTL fuel, normal paraffins, kerosene and lubricant base oils. GTL fuel is the largest component of the product slate and can be used in existing light and heavy-duty diesel engines.

The Pearl GTL project is being developed under a Development and Production Sharing Agreement with the government of Qatar. Shell is providing 100% of project funding. Production from the first Pearl GTL train is anticipated to begin around the end of the decade, with the start up of the second train following within a year.

The launch of the project has been surrounded by speculations about spiralling project’s costs due to increased labor and material costs caused by the construction of numerous gas projects in Qatar.

Source: Shell