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Gulf Times (Qarar): $10bn Pearl GTL-linked contracts placed globally

Andrew Brown, Shell Country Chairman, Qatar

(Andrew Brown, Pearl GTL managing director and Shell’s country chairman in Qatar)

Published: Sunday, 3 December, 2006, 09:11 AM Doha Time 
By Pratap John
 
DOHA: Contracts worth over $10bn have been placed around the world for equipment relating to the Pearl GT1L project at Ras Laffan, the world’s largest integrated gas to liquids complex.

Work is now going on at eight different locations worldwide, said Andrew Brown, Pearl GTL managing director and Shell’s country chairman in Qatar.

“Since launching the project in July, after receiving the full approval from Qatar Government and from the Shell board of directors, we have made steady progress on the $12bn to $18bn project,” he told Gulf Times at the weekend.

The Pearl GTL, a fully integrated gas to liquids project being developed under a Development and Production Sharing (DPSA) between State of Qatar and Shell, would produce some 140,000barrels per day of GTL and 120,000bpd of condensate, liquefied petroleum gas and ethane in two trains.

Production from the first GTL train is slated for 2010, with the start-up of the second train scheduled in 2011, Brown said.
 
The fully integrated upstream/downstream Pearl GTL project covers all aspects of the value chain, from the reservoir in the North Field to the marketing of products.

“Around the world we have different design locations where thousands of engineers are working. We are going at great speed and are well on track to start up by 2010,” the Pearl GTL managing director said.

Some of the key locations where Pearl GTL work goes on are; the UAE (offshore jackets and fabrication of top sides), France (design for water treatment plant), Japan (gas processing) – Chiyoda and Hyundai Heavy Industries, (core GTL design) – JGC, and (liquid processing unit) – Toyo. Toyo will be moving to Korea because they are in partnership with Hyundai E&C.

In terms of procurement, Brown said, most of the large equipment has already been ordered. The orders for piping materials have also been placed. “They will all come to the site through next year and early 2008 when the construction will actually start,” he said.

“Currently, we are starting site preparation works at Ras Laffan. The construction of the contractors’ camp has begun. It can accommodate up to 35,000 people,” Brown said.

Asked whether capacity expansion would become possible at the Pearl GTL project, he said, “We haven’t had any talks with Qatar Petroleum on that so far. But this is one project where you can replicate and clearly the North Field is an enormous resource.”

Brown said Pearl GTL is one of the largest equity investments Shell had ever made.
“It shows our commitment to Qatar and the GTL technology,” Brown said.

Shell’s first GTL plant at Bintulu in Malaysia is making profits. The plant with a capacity of 14,700bpd is small when compared to Pearl GTL. 

“But it gives us information every day on how to operate a GTL plant. It is a very reliable plant. “It gives us the confidence to make this very huge investment here in Qatar,” Brown said. GTL fuelled cars have proved to be more efficient than petrol vehicles, he pointed out.

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