Posted on August 21, 2011

Qatar International Petroleum Marketing Company Ltd (Tasweeq) has sold today its first cargo of GTL Naphtha, a high quality product from the world’s largest gas-to-liquids (GTL) plant, Pearl GTL, located in Qatar.

The State of Qatar has appointed its state-owned marketing company Tasweeq to be the sole marketer of GTL Naphtha, the latest addition to Tasweeq’s “Regulated products”.

GTL Naphtha is a premium feedstock for the petrochemical industry. It has a high paraffinic content of more than 90% and contains virtually no sulphur, which is highly valued by steam cracker operators due to its high yields of olefins (ethylene and propylene).

Mr. Abdulla Al-Naemi, Marketing Director-Refined Products, Tasweeq presents a Certificate of Appreciation to the Shipmaster.

His Excellency Dr. Mohammed bin Saleh Al-Sada, Qatar's Minister of Energy and Industry said: "The Pearl GTL is yet another realization of Qatar’s vision of becoming a leader in the supply of high quality and clean energy products to the world. We are proud of our contribution in protecting the environment and our achievements in the development and utilization of the North Field gas."

Mr. Saad Al-Kuwari, Chief Executive Officer, Tasweeq said, “The State of Qatar has entrusted Tasweeq with the sale of GTL Naphtha; thus adding to the array of energy products that Tasweeq markets and sells across the globe. Tasweeq is expected to market approximately 1 million tonnes per year of Pearl GTL Naphtha to key markets around the world. We are keen to continue introducing GTL Naphtha to the petrochemical and energy markets.”

Mr. Andy Brown, Qatar Shell GTL Limited Executive Vice President, said: “Today is an important milestone as it provides further evidence that Pearl GTL is on track and production is ramping up with the first shipment of a new product - GTL Naphtha -following the first shipment of GTL Gasoil in June. Our plant will produce significant quantities of GTL Naphtha, a product which can yield 8% more high value chemicals than standard naphtha.”

Tasweeq was incorporated in July 2007 as an independent company wholly-owned by the State of Qatar. It aims to be the world’s pre-eminent petroleum marketing company and delivers Regulated Products exported from Qatar, such as liquid petroleum gas (LPG), field and plant condensates, sulphur and refined products such as naphtha, motor gasoline jet fuel. Recently, Tasweeq also started marketing QP’s crude oil (considered as a Non-Regulated Product) under an agency agreement with QP.

Qatar Shell GTL Limited has worked in partnership with QP on the development of the Pearl GTL plant, a project which is established under a Development and Production Sharing Agreement with the Government of the State of Qatar. The Pearl GTL project was launched in July 2006 and the first stone was laid in February 2007 by His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, the Heir Apparent.

At the peak of construction at Pearl GTL, the project employed 52,000 workers. By the end of 2010, major construction was complete. On 23 March 2011, gas began flowing from wells 60 kilometres offshore. Then the gas processing plant began producing condensate, LPG, sulphur and gas for the GTL process. The GTL plant, which employs Shell proprietary technology, was brought into production in May and converts the gas and oxygen to GTL wax. In the last step of the process, the waxes are cracked and distilled into finished GTL products.

Pearl GTL is expected to produce a number of high-quality 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.  The first cargo of GTL Gasoil was shipped on 13 June 2011.

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