The UK/Dutch Shell Group has delayed the deadlines for finishing its $16-20bn Pearl gas to liquids (GTL) development and $8bn Qatargas 4 project in Qatar.

Shell says major construction for both projects will be completed by the end of 2010. Production will start in late 2010 and output is set to increase in 2011.

In 2004, Shell said the first 70,000 barrel a day (b/d) phase of its 140,000-b/d Pearl GTL scheme would start operating in 2009. The second phase will be completed in 2011.

In 2007, Shell said the first liquefied natural gas from its 7.8-million-tonne-a-year Qatargas 4 project were scheduled for delivery “around the end” of 2009.

Shell is funding the development costs of Pearl GTL and holds a 30 per cent stake in Qatargas 4. State-run Qatar Petroleum holds the balance.