Could Total, Shell, Honam, replace Exxon in Qatar cracker JV?

Ras Laffan cracker.JPGA report by MEED’s Peter Salisbury suggests that ExxonMobil may be pulling out of the next cracker project at Ras Laffan in Qatar. The report doesn’t state the reason for Exxon’s change of heart about the $6bn project.

If the report is correct, I imagine Total, Shell, Honam and possibly others would be very keen to express their interest in the project. I was in Qatar with Total last November when the four companies were still awaiting a decision from the Qataris. Total CEO, Francois Cornelis, met with the Qataris then to help push the company’s bid forward.

As Peter points out, “if Exxon decides to walk away from the project, it will be the fourth time in 2010 that a major international oil, gas or petrochemicals company has dropped a scheme in the region.

In April, the US’ ConocoPhillips ended its involvement in a $10bn-plus refinery project with Saudi Aramco and a $10bn sour gas development with Abu Dhabi National Oil Company despite both schemes reaching the bid stage for engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contracts.

In June, the UK’s BG Group decided to abandon its Block 60 exploration and production block in Oman, shortly before it was scheduled to tender contracts to build permanent production facilities at the field.”

Above, right, is an image of the new Ras Laffan cracker which is currently ramping up production. Credit – Total

     

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