The Pearl gas-to-liquids (GTL) plant in Ras Laffan Industrial City in the state of Qatar has sold its first commercial shipment of GTL gasoil, partners in the project Qatar Petroleum and Royal Dutch Shell plc said Monday. Pearl GTL is the largest energy project ever launched in the state of Qatar, they said.

The sale marks the start of production of GTL products when Qatar and Shell, which is the operator of the plant, begin to receive revenue from the project. In March gas began flowing through a subsea pipeline offshore Qatar into Pearl GTL, the largest GTL plant ever built (see Daily GPI, March 25).

Production is expected to ramp up over the coming months. A second train is expected to start up before the end of 2011, and the plant is expected to reach full capacity by the middle of 2012.

Once fully operational, Pearl GTL is expected to produce 1.6 Bcf/d, which will be processed to deliver an expected 120,000 b/d of condensate, liquid propane gas and ethane and an expected 140,000 b/d of GTL products. The plant was developed under a development and production sharing agreement with the government of Qatar. The project was launched in July 2006.

Shell said Pearl GTL is expected to produce a number of GTL products for sale in oil product markets around the world: GTL kerosene for blending into a clean burning aviation fuel; GTL gasoil, a clean-burning diesel-type automotive fuel; GTL base oils for premium lubricants; GTL normal paraffin for detergents; and GTL naphtha, a high-paraffin feedstock for the petrochemical industry.

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