Qatar expands GTL export infrastructure

27 September 2011

Shell’s Pearl GTL plant will increase scope of exports

Qatar International Petroleum Marketing Company (Tasweeq) has invested $20bn in import infrastructure in Asian and African countries, according to Mohammed Saleh al-Sada, minister of energy and industry.

Tasweeq is the state-owned marketing company for GTL products such as liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), condensates and refined products, such as naphtha, gas oil and jet fuel. The scope of export for such products will increase in the run up to full commissioning of Shell’s Pearl GTL complex in Ras Laffan, set to be completed in early 2012.

UK-Dutch oil major Shell has invested $18bn-19bn in the plant, making it the largest industrial project ever undertaken. Pearl will yield a total of 3 billion barrels of oil equivalent over the lifetime of the project.

Tasweeq has invested in Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, amongst other countries, Al-Sada told the local daily The Peninsula.

Asia is a key growth market for Qatari liquefied natural gas (LNG). State-owned gas producer Qatargas wants to double its long-term supplies to Asia from the current 11 million tonnes a year to more than 20 million tonnes, a company official said last week.

The bulk of the company’s standing long-term contracts are with China and Japan. Qatargas hopes to convert additional short-term supply contracts to Japan in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear disaster into long-term agreements, said Andrew Seck, assistant director of LNG marketing for Qatargas, at a conference in Singapore.

Qatar is further diversifying by investing in the petrochemicals sector. The Energy and Industry Ministry has been given a budget of $30bn to diversify their petrochemicals portfolio, said Al-Sada. The Qatar Fertiliser Company (Qafco) expansions 5 project will come online this year and produce 3.6m tonnes of ammonia and 4.3 m tonnes a year (t/y) of urea. The Qafco 6 project will come online in 2012 and produce 6.5m t/y of urea.

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