Shell eyes integrating cracker with gas-to-liquids project in Qatar

04 May 2010 08:46  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS news)--Shell Chemicals is looking at integrating its cracker project with parent company Shell’s Pearl Gas-To-Liquids (GTL) project in Qatar, said Ben van Beurden, executive vice president of Shell Chemicals, on Tuesday.

“There is potential integration with the GTL project, which could involve making joint use of oxygen and hydrogen, along with other synergies” he said in an interview.

Pearl is due for start-up next year. The venture involves a development and production-sharing agreement with Qatar and 100% funding by Shell.

When asked whether reports were correct that start-up of Shell Chemicals ethane-gas cracker project in Qatar had been delayed to beyond 2015 - the cracker has earlier been expected by market commentators to come on-stream around 2012 - van Beurden said: “I don’t know and I would tell you if I knew.

“The situation on feedstock supply is dynamic and I think we have submitted a very good proposition to Qatar. I think they are impressed with our proposal and I am confident that our day will come.”

The cracker complex would include an OMEGA process monoethylene glycol (MEG) plant, van Beurden added.

Ethane gas-supply is tight in Qatar as a result of a moratorium placed on further extraction from the country’s giant offshore gas field, observers say.

The Pearl GTL project will produce naphtha, normal paraffin, gas oil, kerosene and base-oils.

If Shell Chemicals decided to make use of the paraffinic naphtha set to be produced by Pearl they would have to bid in the open market for the feedstock as “Pearl is a separate venture”, he added.

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By: John Richardson
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