The state-run firm is to launch a study to evaluate the economics of continuing to operate its NGL-1 and 2 plants, given the slump in crude output and associated gas supply from the fields.

The facilities, which were installed in late 1980, were upgraded and revamped in 2006 but are growing out of date.

The first NGL plant was commissioned to process associated gas from Dukhan while the second was designed to handle gas from the two offshore fields.

The review of the plants is likely to be tied to an ongoing study of the three fields, which is expected to see the wide-scale introduction of enhanced oil recovery (EOR) technology to stem the decline in output.

A trial EOR scheme is under way at the Dukhan field as part of an attempt to lift production by 15,000-barrels-a-day (b/d) to 350,000 b/d by 2010.

Recovery schemes may also be introduced at Bul Hanine and Maydan Mahzam following a drop in output to 45,000 b/d in the past few years from 50,000 b/d previously. Qatar aims to lift its overall oil production to 1.1 million b/d by 2010, from 900,000 b/d.

The bulk of the capacity increase is expected to come from an upgrade at the Al-Shaheen field in Block 5, where Denmark’s Maersk Oil aims to hike output.