InterviewGPCA ’09: Shell aims for chemical project in Qatar

09 December 2009 16:21  [Source: ICIS news]

DUBAI (ICIS news)--Shell hopes to start a chemicals project in Qatar sometime in the future as it looks at an array of new investment avenues to explore with partner Qatar Petroleum, a company executive said on Wednesday.

The two companies have a gas-to-liquid (GTL) project called Pearl GTL at Ras Laffan in Qatar – designed to produce 120,000 bbl/day of natural gas liquids and ethane and 140,000 bbl/day of GTL products – which will be the biggest GTL plant in the world when it becomes operational next year.

“We would love to do a joint chemicals project as well, which we [have been] discussing with them for quite some time,” said Ben van Beurden, Shell Chemicals' executive vice president, in an interview on the sidelines of the 4th Gulf Petrochemicals and Chemicals Association (GPCA) summit.

Shell and Qatar Petroleum signed a pact in 2007 to jointly pursue international projects throughout the energy value chain.

Among the projects currently being actively pursued is a refinery and petrochemical complex at Taizhou in China’s Zhejiang province.

In Singapore, Shell had welcomed Qatar Petroleum as a partner in the Petrochemical Corp of Singapore and in The Polyolefin Company (Singapore), which marked the first downstream investment of the Middle Eastern company.

Meanwhile, Shell has plans to expand its chemicals operations in the Middle East and is currently considering two projects.

“In terms of concrete proposals that we are trying to make happen [in the Middle East], there are probably two that stand out,” van Beurden said. He declined to elaborate.

At any given time, he said, Shell has looked at a number of chemicals projects, knowing that not all the opportunities being evaluated would be pursued.

Shell has just backed out of a refinery-come-petrochemical complex project in Guangdong, China, with Kuwait Petrochemical Corp and Chinese petrochemical giant Sinopec.

“At some point in time, we came to the conclusion that it does not fit into our strategy anymore,” said van Beurden.

“We invest very selectively into downstream, and for chemicals, the arrangement is that we do one project at a time,” he said.

To discuss issues facing the chemical industry visit ICIS connect

By: Pearl Bantillo
+65 6780 4359

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