South African minerals and petroleum group Sasol and Qatar Petroleum signed a deal Tuesday for a joint $800 million gas-to-liquids (GTL) project that is scheduled to start up in 2005.
Qatar's Energy Minister Abdullah bin Hamad al-Attiya sealed the deal with Sasol's executive director Patrick Davies, the official QNA news agency reported.
The project, valued at $800 million, is scheduled to start up in 2005 and will convert natural gas into 34,000 barrels a day of environmentally friendly fuels, Sasol and Qatar Petroleum said in a joint statement.
The companies said that 9.9 million cubic meters (330 million cubic feet) will be used daily to produce the 34,000 barrels of fuel, liquefied petroleum gas and naphtha, used as a feedstock for the chemical industry.
Sasol raised its stake to 49 percent in the Middle East's first GTL project last May after taking up the 15 percent stake surrendered by US oil company Phillips Petroleum.
The state-owned Qatar Petroleum has a 51 percent stake in the project based at a Ras Laffan Industrial City factory that converts natural gas into liquid petroleum products for export to Asia and Europe.
Qatar, a country of just 522,000 people, four-fifths of whom are expatriates, sits on top of the world's third largest gas reserves after Russia and Iran, with an estimated 13 trillion cubic meters (46,000 billion cubic feet).
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )