Qatar Petroleum (QP) and Shell Wednesday announced the sale of the first commercial shipment of base oil from the Pearl Gas-to-Liquids (GTL) plant. Production of the base oil represents the next development in the ongoing ramp up in the first production unit (train) at Pearl GTL plant, Qatar Shell said in a media statement today. The second train is expected to start before the end of this year. The plant is scheduled to reach full production capacity by the middle of 2012.
HE the Minister of Energy and Industry Dr. Mohammed bin Saleh Al Sada, said "I am pleased with progress in the Pearl GTL project which offers Qatar an opportunity to further diversify its revenues from the North Field gas resources. The production of base oil from the facility is yet another achievement towards cementing Qatar's global position as the premier supplier of quality GTL products."
Royal Dutch Shell Chief Executive Officer Peter Voser said, "This shipment is another milestone in our partnership with QP to deliver the world's largest Gas to Liquids plant.
"The manufacture of high quality base oils and other products from natural gas demonstrates the depth of our technological expertise, while our ability to market products to global customers through Shell Lubricants shows the value of our integrated business model.
"Pearl's success to date would not have been possible without the partnership and support we enjoy with the State of Qatar and QP, and I look forward to the plant reaching full production capacity next year."
GTL base oils represent an alternative starting point for the manufacture of finished lubricants, which help keep vehicle engines, gearboxes and transmissions operating smoothly.
Following ramp up, the Pearl GTL project will be one of the world's largest sources of lubricant base oils with the capacity to produce about 30,000 barrels per day, enough to fill 225 million cars per year.
Once fully operational, Pearl GTL is expected to produce 1.6 billion cubic feet of gas per day from the North Field, which will be processed to deliver an expected 120,000 barrels per day of condensate, LPG and ethane and an expected 140,000 barrels per day of GTL products.
Shell is the operator of the Pearl GTL plant, which is being developed under a Development and Production Sharing Agreement (DPSA) with the Government of the State of Qatar.