Qatar Petroleum (QP) and the US’ ExxonMobil Corporation have started commercial production at the second phase of their Al-Khaleej natural gas project, according to a QP statement on 23 February.

The total output from the field, combined with the first phase of the development which started up in 2005, now stands at 2 billion cf/d. This makes it the largest source of gas supply in Qatar.

The project involved construction of onshore gas treating, liquids recovery and fractionation facilities and two offshore production platforms The onshore facilities have been integrated with existing Ras Laffan Liquefied Natural Gas Company facilities at Ras Laffan.

The second phase of the Al-Khaleej project was developed to supply natural gas to the domestic market and recover associated condensate and natural gas liquids from the North field.

The project is expected to produce about 15 million barrels a year of condensate and 1 million tonnes a year (t/y) of natural gas liquids, such as propane and butane, along with about 870,000 t/y of ethane, which will be used for petrochemicals production.

The main offshore engineering, procurement and construction contract on the scheme, worth more than $1.6bn, was awarded in July 2006 to a Japanese/French joint venture of Chiyoda Corporation and Technip. The $300m contract to build two offshore platforms and connecting pipelines for the project went to Jebel Ali-based contractor J Ray McDermott (MEED 14:7:06).