Tag: Qatar

Sylvia Pfeifer

I am in “Gas City” or Doha, the capital of the state of Qatar. Located halfway along the Western coast of the Gulf, Qatar has been enjoying a construction boom fuelled by its hydrocarbon riches, in particular the world’s largest single gas field, the North Field. The field contains more than 900 trillion cubic feet of gas, equivalent to 150bn barrels of oil, or more than 10 per cent of worldwide gas resources.

The field was first discovered in the early 1970s by what is now Royal Dutch Shell and in just a few week’s time the Anglo-Dutch oil and gas giant will make history when it starts up its Pearl Gas-To-Liquids (GTL) plant. Via pipelines feeding from two offshore platforms 60km off the Qatar coast, the plant will take gas from the North Field and turn it into valuable liquids such as cleaner-burning diesel and aviation fuel, oils for advanced lubricants and naptha used to make plastics.

Kiran Stacey

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.

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« AugDecember 2014