Qatar Shell general manager and Pearl GTL managing director Andrew Brown told AME Info: ‘These projects are very significant and fully aligned with Shell’s strategy of ‘more upstream and profitable downstream’ through the development of integrated natural gas projects. Once completed, these projects will make Qatar Shell one of the largest operating companies of the Shell Group.’
There is no doubt that Qatar Shell means business. Qatargas 4 is a $6-7 billion integrated upstream and mid-stream development which will produce 1.4 billion cubic feet of gas per day from the North Field to use as a feedstock for a huge single-train LNG plant. The project is a joint venture between Qatar Petroleum, which holds 70% and Shell with 30%.
This is one of six LNG trains being developed by Qatargas in association with international oil companies. When they are completed in 2010-12, Qatar will become the world’s largest LNG producer with an LNG production capacity of 77 million tonnes per annum.
In February this year Qatar Shell also signed a letter of intent to develop a world-scale ethane-based cracker and derivatives complex in Qatar’s Ras Laffan Industrial City, another joint venture with Qatar Petroleum. Projects of this size cost around $2 billion and produce some 1.2 million tonnes per annum. Start up is expected in 2011-12.
In addition, Shell has an agreement signed with Qatar Petroleum last July to develop the Pearl GTL project for a 140,000 barrels a day gas-to-liquids plant. And the European energy giant will become an anchor tenant in the Qatar Foundation’s new Science & Technology Park and is committing more than $100 million to develop a research facility.
This represents a considerable investment in the future of Qatar, even for the second most profitable company in European history. But will there be anything more to come?
‘Shell is concentrated on the development and delivery of its three major energy projects as well as of its Qatar Science and Technology Park venture,’ says Mr. Brown. ‘Nevertheless, we believe Qatar is a prime location for investment and constantly evaluate new business opportunities in the country.’
However, Shell intends to make good its usual corporate commitment to community developments and projects in Qatar.
Mr. Brown explains: ‘Shell is a company driven by its core values; honesty, integrity and respect for people have always been integral to what we do. Wherever we work we are part of a local community. In Qatar we are in the process of determining the appropriate ways to contribute to the general well being of the communities adjacent to our projects and the broader society who grant our licence to operate.
‘As an example for the Pearl GTL Project, Shell is finalising an Environmental, Social and Health Impact Assessment; the Social and Health aspects are additional elements not mandated by Government. This approach is gaining attention of the authorities. Pearl GTL recently engaged in a town hall meeting with almost 100 representatives of the local contractor community to explore how they can be fully involved in the project.’
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