Qatargas is a joint venture involving the Qatar Gas and Petroleum Company (QGPC), the state-owned Qatari company which is responsible for the oil and gas sectors of Qatar), and a number of foreign shareholders, including Mobil; Total; Mitsui & Company, and Marubeni. Qatargas was officially incorporated on November 1, 1984, under Emiri Decree No. 44, and its first sales agreement was signed in 1992.
Qatar is considered to be holding the world’s third largest natural gas reserves, after Russia and Iran. Qatar’s natural gas production is higher than its oil production.
On November 27,1999, a liquified natural gas (LNG) cargo was loaded for the 200th time at the Ras Laffan Port, almost two years after the company’s first shipment and one year after the 100th cargo. By the end of 1999, Qatargas had loaded a cumulative total of 205 LNG cargoes, of which 100 were loaded in 1999
In 1999, Qatargas produced 5.8 million tons of LNG, and the company is in the process of expanding its annual capacity to 8.2 million tons.
Qatargas is currently involved in two main projects with separate shareholder groups: the downstream joint venture (onshore LNG Plant) and the upstream joint venture (offshore production and the onshore receiving facilities).
The shareholders in the downstream joint venture are:
Qatar General Petroleum Corporation (QGPC) — 65 percent
Total S. A. — 10 percent
Mobil Qatargas Inc.- 10 percent
Mitsui Lng Nederland B. V.- 7.5 percent
Marubeni Corporation — 7.5 percent
The shareholders in the upstream joint venture are:
Qatar General Petroleum Corporation (QGPC) — 65 percent
Total Qatar Oil And Gas S. A — 20 percent
Mobil Qatargas Inc. — 10 percent
Mitsui Gas Development Qatar B. V. — 2.5 percent
MQL International B.V.- 2.5 percent
Activities, Capacities & Facilities:
The total amount of gas delivered in 1999 was 443 billion standard cubic feet (12.5 billion million cubic meters) for an average of 950 million standard cubic feet (27 million cubic meters) per day. The total field condensate (NFC) production in 1999 was 16.6 million barrels for an average of 45,000 barrels per day.
The cumulative production volumes from North Field Bravo, at the end of 1999, was 985 billion standard cubic feet (28 billion cubic meters) of gas and 440 million barrels of condensate.
THE NORTHERN FIELD:
The North Field was discovered in 1971, and today is recognized to be one of the worlds's largest none associated gas field, with proven recoverable reserves are in excess of 380 trillion cubic feet of gas and total reserves in excess of 500 trillion cubic feet. Before the establishment of Qatargas, QGPC undertook the first phase its development. The field currently produces about 800 million standard cubic feet (23 million cubic meters) per day of raw gas. After processing about 750 million standard cubic feet (21 million cubic meters) of lean gas are extracted. The gas is used both for domestic consumption and other industrial use and about 50,000 barrels per day of condensate for export.
The Qatargas LNG plant is facility is located within the Ras Laffan Industrial City, about 80 km north of Qatar’s capital, Doha. The plant currently consists of three identical LNG process trains. Qatargas is considering adding a fourth process train, as well as storage and loading facilities and associated off-site and utility systems required for the production of more than six million tons per annum of LNG. In addition to LNG, the plant also produces some additional condensate and sulfur for export.
The plant receives gas from the offshore North Field gas reservoir. The gas is transferred via a single, 32 inch, sub sea pipeline. Following filtration and metering of this dry gas in the onshore feedstock reception facility, it is distributed to the plant’s three identical liquefaction trains for processing into LNG.
The gas from the offshore North Field passes through the inlet manifold where the condensate is removed and stabilized. Most of the water is also removed at this stage. Carbon dioxide (CO2), hydrogen sulfide (H2S) and other sulfur compounds are removed in the acid gas removal unit. Some of the Sulfur is exported as a commodity.
The gas is then dehydrated in molecular sieves, and passed to the liquefaction unit where the treated gas is cooled. After the LNG is processed, it is stored until the liquefied natural gas can be loaded onto a tanker.
The Qatargas LNG Plant facilities include four LNG storage tanks; each with a capacity of 85,000 cubic meters (3 million cubic feet).
Qatargas has made arrangements with the Ras Laffan Port Management to accommodate the shipping of LNG, condensate, and sulfur products( see map).
The LNG is transported from the storage tanks to the Ras Laffan Port area via two 30-inch pipelines. There it is loaded on to one of the LNG vessels in service, each with a capacity of 135,000 cubic meters (4.8 million cubic feet). The loading rate is 10,000 cubic meters (353,000 cubic feet) an hour.
The condensate is transported to three floating-roof condensate tanks; each with a capacity of 55,000 cubic meters (2 million cubic feet). From these tanks it is pumped to a liquids berth at the port, for loading on to tankers. Condensate is loaded at 4,000 cubic meters (142,000 cubic feet) per hour.
The sulfur product is stored in a silo with a capacity of 20,000 tones. From this silo, the sulfur is transported to the ship loader at the Ras Laffan Port on a conveyer belt system.
Qatargas also is responsible for the transportation of LNG between Ras Laffan and it’s various clients around the Globe. A total fleet of 10 purposely-built LNG vessels, each with a capacity load of 135,000 cubic meters is used. Each vessel contains five LNG tanks .
Qatargas signed a sales and purchase Agreement (SPA) with Chubu Electric Power Co. Inc. of Japan on May 13,1992, for the delivery of four million tons per annum of LNG for a period of 25 years. Another SPA was signed in December 1994 with Chubu Electric and seven additional Japanese buyers including for the delivery of two million tons per annum of LNG. Japan is by far the biggest client of Qatargas.
In addition to these commitments, Qatargas has signed agreements to supply spot LNG cargoes to Enagas of Spain, to Botas of Turkey, Edison of Italy, Duke Energy and CMS both of the US, Gaz de France and Korea Gas Corporation.
Condensate: In 1999, 40 cargoes of co-mingled North Field and Plant Condensate were loaded, adding up to a total export volume of 16.8 million barrels. In addition, seven cargoes of segregated condensate (1.5 million barrels) were also sold in 1999.
Sulfur: In 1999, two Sulfur cargoes with a total of 30,000 tones were exported
Source:Qatargas web site.
© 2000 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )