Qatar becomes world’s top Liquefied Natural Gas producer

The start-up of RasGas Train-5 with 4.7m tonnes per annum (mtpa) production capacity brings Qatar’s total LNG capacity to approximately 30.7 mtpa, making it the world’s largest LNG producer, Dr Mohammed Saleh Al Sada, Managing Director of RasGas Company, said here yesterday.
The project cost approximately $1.7bn including the onshore and offshore components. However, taking into account RasGas expansion of train-3 through to train-7 costing $14bn and considering other investments made in train 1 and 2 including shipping, a total of over $20bn has been invested by QP and ExxonMobil in RasGas.
“Train 5 now online has specific significance for Qatar and RasGas, a joint venture between Qatar Petroleum and ExxonMobil, in particular. The resulting total production capacity is significant because at that rate of production Qatar is now the world’s largest producer of LNG,” Al Sada told a news conference prior to the formal inauguration of the facility today at Ras Laffan Industrial City.
Al Sada said that Train-5 will bring the total RasGas output to nearly 21 mta and eventually increasing to around 36.6 mtpa for its 7 trains put together. This, he said, would help to ensure that Qatar’s plan to reach a capacity of 77 mtpa by the end of the decade is achieved.
He said that the LNG output from Train-5 will head to European markets, with Distrigas of Belgium being one of the recipients, adding that the facility is already fully operational having exported some 10 cargoes to Europe so far.
Al Sada also noted that the Train-5 project, which marks the completion of the RasGas Expansion Project, broke records for safety and use of ground-breaking technology.
He said that Train-5 is one of the most environment-friendly LNG plants ever built through the installation, for the first time in Qatar, of the ‘dry low NOX’ technology on all its gas turbines.
The combustion system reduces the amount of nitrous oxides emitted by over 85 per cent, he said, adding that the system will later be fitted on all the other RasGas Trains.
“The awareness to reduce the nitrogen oxide (NOX) is increasing worldwide and Qatar is one of those countries committed to reducing them. RasGas has a strategy to fit all the turbines with such a technology to reduce the pollutant,” said Al Sada.

He also pointed out that Train-5 was completed ahead of time and under budget. “The Engineering Procurement and Construction of the project’s time table was 30 months which is a very challenging time-frame for such a project. With such a challenging short duration, the project was completed three months approximately ahead of schedule,” he said.
Besides, Sada pointed out, upon completion, the project also achieved a record startup phase which took only 24 days as against the 40 days that were required for Trains 3 and 4.
Besides LNG, Train-5 also produces 32,000 barrel per day of condensate, 14,000 barrel per day of butane and propane. RasGas continues its development with Trains 6 and 7 with a production capacity of 7.

8mta each currently under construction and slated for completion in 2008 and 2009 respectively.
(The Peninsula)


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