Kiran Stacey Shell: Gas is now flowing at Pearl

Pearl GTL plant

Image by Shell

Shell said last week that this year was the “year of delivery” in its three year plan to boost profits and growth.

It took a big step towards that on Wednesday when it announced that gas was now flowing into the Pearl gas-to-liquid plant in Qatar. The project is expected to add nealry 8 per cent to the company’s worldwide gas production, and is the principal source of growth for next year. The company reiterated its target to reach full production in 2012.

Investors, however, are not especially impressed. Shell’s shares rose slightly in morning trading in a rising market, but lagged those of its main rival, BP. In part that is because the news is no surprise – the company’s CEO indicated last week that the project was on track.

But it is also an indication that the company has a lot more targets ahead of it which it needs to hit to achieve its ambitious plans.