Qatar, ExxonMobil enter HOA for $7 billion GTL project at Ras Laffin

By OGJ editors

HOUSTON, July 14 -- Qatar and ExxonMobil Corp. subsidiary ExxonMobil Qatar GTL Ltd. have entered into a heads of agreement (HOA) for ExxonMobil to build a $7 billion, gas-to-liquids (GTL) project at Ras Laffan Industrial City in Qatar, a project ExxonMobil claims would be the world's largest single, fully integrated GTL project.

A 25 year development and production-sharing agreement (DPSA) will go into effect at the start of production, which is planned for 2011.

ExxonMobil, which would use its patented AGC-21 GTL technology in the plant, will provide 100% of the projected capital cost. It also will design, construct, and perform all petroleum operations, including development and production of enough gas, associated liquids, and other hydrocarbons to meet the plant's proposed 154,000 b/d capacity.

About 50% of the plant's production will be sulfur-free diesel (less than 10-15 ppm), about 20% high-quality lube base stocks, and the balance naphtha and other products.

ExxonMobil will drill an appraisal well for the GTL project this year, and will supplement the preliminary front-end engineering and design (pre-FEED) undertaken earlier. FEED is expected to begin upon execution of the DPSA.

This project, which has been under consideration by Qatar Petroleum and ExxonMobil for some time, follows other recent announcements of GTL projects planned for Ras Laffan such as Qatar Shell GTL's plans for a $5 billion GTL plant (OGJ Online, Oct. 21, 2003), a proposed ConocoPhillips-Qatar Petroleum Co.-sponsored world-scale GTL plant (OGJ Online, Dec. 9, 2003), and the more-recently announced study by Qatar Petroleum-Sasol Chevron Consulting Ltd. to assess the feasibility of a $6 billion expansion of the Oryx GTL plant to 100,000 b/d,which is planned to start up in 2009 (OGJ Online, Mar. 24, 2004).

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