Supermajor Anglo Dutch Shell said its Pearl gas-to-liquids venture in Qatar is drilling 22 offshore wells that will feed natural gas to its liquid fuels plant in the Persian Gulf state.
The world’s biggest GTL venture is drilling 11 wells at each of two platforms, Shell said in a statement on its web site today.
The platforms are 60 kilometres (37 miles) offshore in water as deep as 40 metres and is in the North Field, which contains more than 900 trillion cubic feet of gas, it said.
The Pearl plant, due to start up by the end of the decade, will produce 140,000 barrels per day of liquid fuels and 120,000 bpd of condensate and liquefied petroleum gases, enough fuel to fill more than 160,000 cars a day, according to Shell.
Qatar’s gas reserves are the world’s third-largest, said a Bloomberg report.
Shell plans to counter lost output in Nigeria and Russia by mining Canadian oil sands and developing the Qatari venture.
The “unconventional” projects are designed to replace aging fields and reverse the decline in the company’s output of the past six years.
The company plans to add as much as 250,000 bopd by the end of this year and will add a “significant amount” of new production in 2010 and 2011, chief financial officer Peter Voser said last month. That is part of the 1 million bpd of further output it has so far committed in projects.
About 40,000 people are working to build the GTL plant in Qatar and 2 million tonnes of prefabricated parts are on their way to the site, Shell said.
A total of 12 reactors that help make gas-to-liquids products have already been installed, it said.