First cargo of Pearl GTL products ship from Qatar

By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, June 14
-- Royal Dutch Shell PLC and Qatar Petroleum reported the Pearl gas-to-liquids plant in Qatar’s Ras Laffan Industrial City sold its first commercial shipment of GTL gas oil.

The sale marked the start of production of GTL products from the plant. In coming months, production is to ramp up from the Pearl GTL project’s first train, and the second train is expected to start up before yearend. The plant is expected to reach full production capacity by mid-2012. It is the largest energy project ever launched in the Qatar, officials said.

Qatar's Minister of Energy and Industry Mohammed bin Saleh Al-Sada said the project will enhance diversification of North field gas utilization and will optimize Qatar's competitive position in world markets.

When fully operational, Pearl GTL is expected to produce 1.6 bcfd from North field, which will be processed to deliver an expected 120,000 b/d of condensate, LPG, and ethane, plus an expected 140,000 b/d GTL products using Shell's technological and project management capabilities.

Shell is operator of the Pearl GTL plant under a development and production-sharing agreement with Qatar. The project was launched in July 2006.

Major construction was completed last year. On Mar. 23, gas began flowing to the project from wells 60 km offshore. The gas processing plant began producing condensate, LPG, and sulfur. Four of the world's largest air separation units began producing oxygen for the GTL plant that employs Shell proprietary technology to convert the gas and oxygen to GTL wax. In the last step of the process, the waxes are cracked and distilled into finished GTL products.

Pearl GTL is expected to produce a number of GTL products for sale in world markets.

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