First gas flows to giant Pearl GTL plant in Qatar - QP/Shell

23 March 2011 12:28  [Source: ICIS news]

Pearl GTL reactorsLONDON (ICIS)--Sour gas has flowed for the first time into the Pearl GTL (gas to liquids) plant at Ras Laffan Industrial City in Qatar, Qatar Petroleum (QP) and Shell said on Wednesday.

Shell is the operator of the unit, which is the largest GTL plant in the world, and said it had opened natural gas wells offshore to allow the gas to flow into the facility. “Sections of the Pearl GTL plant will be started up progressively over the coming months,” it added in a statement.

The giant energy project consists of two offshore platforms 60km off the coast of Qatar connected by pipeline to the GTL plant, which uses Fischer Tropsch technology to convert synthesis gas into long-chain hydrocarbons.

Pearl will produce 1.6bn cubic feet of gas a day from Qatar’s North Field when fully operational, Shell said. The gas will be processed to generate 120,000 bbl/day of GTL gasoil, kerosene, base oils, n-paraffins and naphtha.

Shell says that GTL naphtha “is an alternative feedstock to conventional naphtha for chemicals plants that make the building blocks for plastics. It has much higher paraffin content than conventional naphtha, which means each litre of GTL naphtha can produce more plastics”.

Other potential chemical feedstocks from the facility will include condensates and ethane.

Pearl is Shell’s largest-ever single project, including the upstream production investment. The three-stage GTL process uses proprietary catalysts and technology in almost 2,000 production steps.

For more on chemicals at Shell visit ICIS company intelligence

By: Nigel Davis
+44 20 8652 3214

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