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Friday, July 1, 2011     FOR YOUR EYES ONLY

Qatar plans to lead world in gas-to-liquids production

ABU DHABI — Qatar has been preparing for a multi-billion-dollar gas-to-liquids project.


Qatar Petroleum has been arranging for the start of production of its Pearl GTL project. The project, estimated at $19 billion and in cooperation with Royal Dutch Shell, was expected to begin by August.

Executives said Pearl would produce about one million tons a year of GTL. They said this would be sufficient to power an airline fleet.

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Pearl was designed to produce 1.6 billion cubic feet of gas per day, acquired from the North Field. Shell said Pearl would transform the gas into 140,000 barrels of GTL per day.

Qatar plans to become the world leader in GTL in 2012 with the first quantities of fuel. In March, Shell reported gas production that enabled the first sour gas into the GTL plant in Qatar.

Meanwhile, the United Arab Emirates has signed another energy exploration and production deal.

The UAE emirate of Sharjah has signed an agreement with Monaco's Rex Oil & Gas for exploration and production. Under the 23-year agreement, Rex would conduct seismic and other geological studies as well as drill in the areas of Kalba and Khor Fakan in Sharjah. Most of the energy production in the UAE has been focused in the emirate of Abu Dhabi.

Rex has sought to expand its operations throughout the Gulf Cooperation Council. The company, which plans to use satellites, has been working with Oman to explore an offshore block around the Masirah island.

"We will draw on their expertise in geology and geophysics," Rex vice president Svein Kjellesvik said. "We will add our competencies in geophysics and remote sensing and try to bring the best of both companies together."

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