At a unique event Monday in Doha, Qatar Petroleum (QP) and Shell Gas & Power International B.V. (Shell) presented the first Gas to Liquids (GTL) Fuel car to run in Qatar. Shell’s synthetic gas-derived fuel was used in neat form in an unmodified 4.2 litre Audi A8 TDI (turbo diesel), demonstrating that GTL Fuel is a clean, practical alternative fuel that can be used in conventional diesel engines. Qatar is on track to become the GTL Capital of the World and Shell is contributing to this feat by working on the plans to develop the Pearl GTL project that, upon successful completion, will be the largest GTL plant in the world.
Launching this event were Abdullah Bin Hamad Al-Attiyah, Second Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Energy and Industry of Qatar and Malcolm Brinded, Executive Director Exploration & Production Royal Dutch Shell plc. After addressing the audience, Minister Al-Attiyah, accompanied by Malcolm Brinded, drove Audi’s flagship car around Doha’s Corniche in a clear illustration of Qatar’s vision to drive the GTL industry in partnership with leading companies in the industry.
“This is truly a symbolic event for Qatar in its quest to reach the summit of the global GTL industry. GTL represents cutting edge technology and fuels that provide energy-saving and environmentally friendly options for markets around the world,” Al-Attiyah said. “We are very pleased to partner with Shell, a global leader in the field, in the pursuit of our ambitious goals in GTL development,” Minister Al-Attiyah added.
Malcolm Brinded said “We are delighted to team up with Qatar Petroleum in promoting GTL technology and thank Audi for contributing to this event by providing a top performance vehicle to demonstrate the use of GTL Fuel. Qatar’s contribution to the development of the GTL industry is unprecedented and Shell is proud to be an enabler of this enormous achievement.”
GTL Fuel is colourless, odourless and cleaner than conventional refinery produced diesel fuel. It is virtually free of sulphur and aromatics. A considerable number of trials around the world have confirmed that it significantly reduces local emissions.
Shell has pioneered the development of GTL technologies since the 1970s and has operated a medium scale GTL plant in Bintulu, Malaysia since 1993, which is where its GTL Fuel is currently manufactured. In Qatar, Shell is embarked on the development of the world-scale Pearl GTL project.
QP and Shell signed an integrated Development and Production Sharing Agreement (DPSA) on July 8th 2004 that provides for the fiscal and legal terms for the Pearl GTL project. This project comprises the development of upstream gas production facilities and an onshore GTL plant that will produce 140,000 barrels per day of GTL products as well as significant quantities of associated condensate and liquefied petroleum gas.
One of the main products to come out of a Shell GTL system is GTL Fuel, which can be used in conventional diesel engines. It has a high cetane and near zero sulphur and aromatics. These unique properties contribute to more efficient fuel combustion, lower emissions and lower noise.