Total Petrochemicals, Qatar Petroleum discuss cracker project

23 November 2010 11:23  [Source: ICIS news]

Total PetrochemicalsLONDON (ICIS)--Total Petrochemicals and Qatar Petroleum are in early discussions about a cracker project in Qatar, an official with Total Petrochemicals said on Tuesday.

“We’re in discussions with the Qataris about the project but it’s still in the very early stages,” said Graeme Burnett, Total Petrochemicals’ senior vice president for Asia and the Middle East.

“We hope to have some clarification by early next year.”

The mixed-feed cracker would probably be located in the north of Qatar, in Ras Laffan, Burnett said. He added that it is too early to discuss the size of the project.

The exit of US-based ExxonMobil from its proposed joint-venture cracker project with Qatar Petroleum, according to industry sources familiar with the matter, has improved prospects for participating in a new cracker project in Qatar.

In addition, earlier this year, South Korea-based Honam Petrochemical also backed out of a plan to build a cracker complex with Qatar Petroleum.

“ExxonMobil has exited the cracker project in Qatar, and we’ve always told the media that we are interested in doing another project in Qatar,” said Burnett.

Over the last few years, a number of players have expressed an interest in investing in Qatar’s next cracker project, including Total Petrochemicals, ExxonMobil, Honam and Shell, he added.

ExxonMobil would not confirm that it has exited the Qatar project. “It is our practice not to comment on rumours or speculation,” said a spokesman.

Total Petrochemicals, based in Brussels, Belgium, and Qatar Petroleum are already partners in the new Ras Laffan Olefins Co cracker, which started up in Ras Laffan in April.

Total Petrochemicals holds 22.2% of Ras Laffan Olefins through its participations in Qatar Petrochemical Co (QAPCO) and Qatofin.

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By: Anna Jagger
+44 20 8652 3214

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