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Bloomberg: Royal Dutch Shell PLC: Qatar’s First Gas-to-Liquids Plant to Start Shipment This Month

By Stephen Voss

April 3 (Bloomberg) — Oryx GTL, a joint venture between Qatar Petroleum and South Africa’s Sasol Ltd., will this month begin its first product shipment from Qatar’s first gas-to- liquids plant, a month later than planned, a spokesman said.

The $950,000 million Oryx venture in Ras Laffan Industrial City had previously planned to send its first fuel cargo by the end of the first quarter.

“The first shipment is ready; it’s just a question of doing the administration and logistics for an April sailing,” said Malcolm Wells, a London-based spokesman for SasolChevron, which is handling product marketing.

Oryx is designed to produce as much as 34,000 barrels a day of synthetic diesel, naphtha and other products, using natural gas as its feedstock. The venture is owned 51 percent by state- run Qatar Petroleum and 49 percent by Sasol.

Royal Dutch Shell Plc started construction of a larger GTL plant in Qatar on Feb. 22, two days after Exxon Mobil Corp. scrapped plans for a similar facility because of high costs and the prioritization of Qatari gas for domestic needs.

Oryx was officially inaugurated in June. Because of start-up difficulties, it didn’t produce its first product until January.

“It’s a startup plant, so it’s a bit like hitting a moving target,” Wells said, referring to the first shipment date.

To contact the reporter on this story: Stephen Voss in London at [email protected]

Last Updated: April 3, 2007 04:32 EDT

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