GTL projects gather pace

19 December 2003
The US' ConocoPhillipshas become the latest international oil company (IOC) to sign up for a gas-to-liquids (GTL) project in Ras Laffan, signing on 8 December a statement of intent with Qatar Petroleum (QP)for its integrated project. The outline agreement provides for pre-front-end engineering and design (FEED) studies to be carried out and establishes the principles for negotiating a heads of agreement (HoA), which is expected to be signed over the coming 12 months. The signing came six weeks after the Royal Dutch/Shell Groupsigned an HoA with QP for its $5,000 million integrated GTL project (MEED 24:10:03).

As with the Shell project, the ConocoPhillips scheme will be structured as a development and production sharing agreement. The company has been looking at a 240,000-barrel-a-day (b/d) project, to be implemented in phases.

Japan's JGC Corporationand the US' Kellogg Brown & Rootare already carrying out pre-FEED work on the Shell project, which calls for the construction of 140,000 b/d of GTL capacity by 2010-11. The next step in the project's implementation is expected to come in the first quarter of 2004 with work starting on the 14-15 month FEED package.

Construction work is progressing on Qatar's first GTL project, a 34,000-b/d plant being developed by Oryx GTL- a joint venture between QP and South Africa's Sasol. Plans are also under consideration for a significant expansion of the facility, which will add up to 130,000 b/d of new capacity.

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