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 clean liquid hydrocarbon products through the construction of the world’s largest integrated GTL complex in Ras Laffan Industrial City.
Upstream, some 1.6 billion cubic feet per day of wellhead 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.
With lower emissions at point of use, it can play a major role in reducing local air pollution in cities and provide a strategic diversification of liquid transport fuel for importing countries. GTL blended fuels can also enhance engine performance as demonstrated by the historic Audi R10 TDI win at this year’s Le Mans 24-hour race.
The fully integrated Pearl GTL project is being developed under a Development and Production Sharing Agreement with the government of the State of Qatar, covering offshore and onshore costs, with Shell providing 100 per cent of project funding.
The award of various engineering, procurement, construction and management contracts for execution of the project has now begun. 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.
Second Deputy Premier and Minister of Energy and Industry of Qatar Abdullah Bin Hamad Al-Attiyah, said: ‘His Highness the Emir, Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani, has set a wise strategy for the optimal utilisation of Qatar’s natural resources for the benefit of Qataris, now and in the future.
‘GTL opens a new global market for Qatari natural gas and allows Qatar to contribute constructively to improving the local environment by supplying a cleaner alternative transport fuel. Shell has extensive expertise in all aspects of the GTL value chain and I am pleased to have them as partners on our journey to become the GTL capital of the world.’
Jeroen van der Veer, Chief Executive of Royal Dutch Shell, added: ‘This announcement is another clear demonstration of our long-term commitment to partnering with the State of Qatar to deliver Qatari natural gas and GTL products to markets around the world.
‘It is also evidence of our commitment to leverage leading Shell technology in order to increase the world’s supply of cleaner and more diverse liquid hydrocarbon products.’
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