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ExxonMobil Gas-To-Liquids in Qatar

Hard on the heels of a similar announcement from Royal Dutch Shell (earlier post), ExxonMobil has agreed to build a $7 Billion natural Gas-to-Liquids (GTL) plant in Qatar. The facility, to be built at Ras Laffan, would now be the world’s largest, fully integrated GTL plant, and is due to come online in 2011. (The Shell GTL plant, announced 10 days ago, was then the world’s biggest. Short reign.)

ExxonMobil will design, construct and perform all petroleum operations in connection with the GTL project. This includes the rights to develop and produce gas, associated liquids and other hydrocarbons in sufficient quantities to meet the 154,000 barrels per day capacity of the GTL plant. Approximately half of the plant’s production will be for sulfur-free diesel (less than 10-15 ppm), about 20 percent will be in high-quality lube base stocks, with the remainder in naphtha and other associated products.

Information on ExxonMobil’s GTL technology and work is here.

In March of this year, SasolChevron and Qatar announced their own $6 billion project that would upgrade the capacity of one GTL plant from 34,000 bpd to 100,000 bpd, and to develop another 130,000 bpd integrated GTL project, due to startup by 2010.

Combining these deals, we have:

  • Some $19 billion in investment
  • Combined output of 524,000 bpd

Qatar, with its enormous natural gas reserves (only Russia and Iran have larger, according to BP), is striving to become the global GTL center, along with LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas). Those are the methods for transporting natural gas to markets when the source is far from the destination—either convert the gas to products (GTL), or liquefy it for shipment and then regassification (LNG).


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