The UK/Dutch Shell Group has revised the cost of constructing its Pearl gas to liquids (GTL) plant in Qatar to $18-19bn from an earlier $16-20bn price band.

In a presentation to investors in Qatar on 23 November, Shell said the cost is likely to be $18bn-$19bn. Shell has previously estimated costs between $16-20bn.

On 23 November, Shell said it had delayed the deadlines for finishing the Pearl development and its Qatargas 4 project.

Shell said 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. It expects Qatargas 4 to cost about $2bn.

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.