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Gulf-Times (Qatar): Qatargas-III start-up in 2009’

Published: Tuesday, 6 March, 2007, 08:51 AM Doha Time
Business Reporter

DOHA: Qatargas–III will come online in 2009 as scheduled, a senior executive has said.

Speaking on the sidelines of the 12th Annual Middle East Gas Summit yesterday, ConocoPhillips Qatar president Mike Stice said Qatargas-III was on budget and schedule despite rising costs and tight supplies of raw materials.

Qatargas Train 6, which will be set up under Qatargas–III, is a joint venture among QP (68.5%), ConocoPhillips (30%) and Mitsui (1.5%).

“Higher costs and rising prices have affected everybody in the industry. But I am pleased to say that both Qatargas–III and Qatargas–IV, a 70:30 joint venture between QP and Royal Dutch Shell are on track, on schedule and within budget,” Stice said.

According to Reuters, Stice said the gas-to-liquid projects Conoco was looking at, remains a possibility, despite ExxonMobil’s recent dropping of a similar project due to spiralling cost.

“Nothing is off the table. Conoco would look at the project again when Qatar raises the moratorium on new gas projects,” he said.

Qatar has frozen all new gas projects until 2012 to assess reserves at its vast North Field.

Stice said the projects stayed on track due to accurate initial cost forecasts and early purchases of raw materials and supplies for the construction.

Rapidly rising fees for oil service contractors, tight labour supplies and raw materials scarcity have strained the budgets of big energy projects around the world.

Rising costs forced ExxonMobil to drop plans to build the world’s largest GTL project in Qatar last month. A number of gas projects Qatar is executing simultaneously have further tightened supplies and fanned costs.

Earlier, presenting the topic “Gas Price Volatility” Opportunity or Threat” Stice said consumers might choose a different fuel if gas prices were high. “We see high volatility during a period of high price. Gas price volatility is therefore a threat,” Stice said.

Price volatility could be tackled by bringing more gas into the market for which more production, storage and transportation facilities were required. Peak US gas demand during the winter was met from the stockpiles.

According to Stice, Qatar would be playing a key role in meeting the increasing global requirements for LNG. Two key advantages for Qatar are its huge reserves and destination flexibility.   

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