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Shell Testing First Phase of Qatar GTL Project

Source: Reuters 5/24/2010, Location: Middle East

Royal Dutch Shell has started commissioning the first phase of its multi-billion dollar Pearl gas-to-liquids (GTL) project in Qatar, an executive of the plant said.

The GTL plant, which Shell describes as the world's largest energy project, has a price tag of up to $19 billion.

Shell expects Pearl and a liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant it is building in Qatar to generate around $4 billion a year in cash flow once running, Andy Brown, executive vice president of Pearl GTL said at an industry event in Manama. "We have steam boilers running we are heavily commissioning phase one," said Brown." Next year, we will start ramping up of phase two," he added.

Major construction of both phases of the GTL plant would be completed by the end of this year, Brown said. The LNG plant is Qatargas train 7. It would have capacity to produce 7.8 million tonnes per year of gas and is the last of the LNG plants that Qatar is building on the way to reaching target LNG capacity of 77 million tonnes per year.

Shell said earlier this year that its $21 billion investment in Qatar would make it the largest private investor in the world's largest LNG exporter, eclipsing rival Exxon Mobil.

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