Published June 7th, 2006 - 11:45 GMT

“Cleaner, greener gas-to-liquid diesel has passed its toughest test” was the message from the Sasol Chevron GTL Challenge team as they successfully completed their unprecedented journey from South Africa to Qatar.

The team had been battling the clock and the toughest African terrain as they raced to get to Qatar  in time for the official opening of the US$950 million ORYX GTL production facility (which will enable this fuel to be sold commercially late in 2006).

On reaching Qatar the team of twelve men and women released new details on the emissions from the GTL fuelled vehicle, compared with one of the conventional diesel vehicles that also made the journey.

The clear GTL fuel burned significantly cleaner than conventional diesel and provided superior performance. The team have estimated that 4,500 cubic metres or four and a half Olympic swimming pools less of sulphur dioxide was emitted from the GTL fuelled vehicle during the challenge. And 102,000 cubic metres or over 100 Olympic swimming pools less of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) was emitted from the GTL fuelled vehicle during the challenge.

At their arrival in Qatar, Ian Myburgh, Expedition leader, said: “Our team spirit has been brilliant and we are delighted to have made it to Qatar on schedule. And in doing so we have all had the experience of a lifetime, seeing all the true sights of Africa. It has been an experience we will never forget”.

Malcolm Wells, the Expedition Director, said: “I am delighted to see that GTL Diesel has passed its toughest test and that the challenge has been successfully completed. The gas-to-liquid vehicle performed fantastically well on this most challenging of trips through Africa to Qatar.”

The Sasol Chevron GTL Challenge, that set off on the 19th April, saw the team of adventurers embark on an exhilarating and symbolic journey from Sasolburg, South Africa to Qatar, to signal the inauguration of the Oryx GTL plant in Qatar on 6th June.

The team was challenged by Sasol Chevron to complete the 11,000 km journey, across Africa and some of the toughest conditions on the planet, in 46 days.

One of the team’s five vehicles, a Toyota Hilux Raider, dubbed African Renaissance – highlighting the African continent’s growing influence on the world’s energy industry – was fuelled from beginning to end with GTL diesel fuel from Sasol’s plant in Sasolburg.

A website - - contains a daily diary written by the team during their journey and high quality pictures and video footage of their unique experiences.

GTL diesel dovetails neatly into tighter environmental controls and increased diesel consumption in many parts of the world. GTL diesel has a sulphur content of less than 5 parts per million and with a cetane rating of 70 plus compared to the 50/52 of standard diesel fuel, it provides superior performance and reduced emissions. The world has abundant natural gas resources, and GTL offers gas-producing countries a way to commercialize their resources whilst meeting a growing need for clean transportation fuels.

A joint venture between the state-owned petroleum company Qatar Petroleum (51%) and Sasol (49%), ORYX GTL in Qatar is the first low-temperature Fischer-Tropsch GTL plant outside South Africa dedicated to the production of new generation GTL diesel and the world's first commercial GTL facility to be financed by the international money markets. The plant will use Sasol's proprietary Fischer-Tropsch technology and London-based Sasol Chevron will market the high-quality, environmentally-friendly GTL diesel later this year. The ORYX GTL plant will convert gas from the North Field in the Gulf into 34,000 bpd of liquid hydrocarbons (mainly GTL diesel). In conjunction with Sasol Chevron and Qatar Petroleum, the intention is to increase the plant's capacity to more than 100,000 bpd. Also under construction is the Escravos GTL (EGTL) plant in Nigeria, owned by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and Chevron Nigeria Limited (CNL) and supported by Sasol and Sasol Chevron.

Sasol Chevron was established in October 2000 as a 50/50 joint venture to actively pursue commercial application of GTL technology for selected Chevron and Sasol-held reserves of natural gas; third-party gas reserves and host countries seeking to monetize their gas reserves. Sasol Chevron is fostering the development of a GTL industry and global markets for GTL by designing, building and operating plants throughout the world to manufacture and market alternative GTL diesel and other products.

Chevron Corporation is one of the world's leading energy companies. With more than 53,000 employees, Chevron subsidiaries conduct business in approximately 180 countries around the world, producing and transporting crude oil and natural gas, and refining, marketing, and distributing fuels and other energy products. Chevron is based in San Ramon, Calif. More information on Chevron is available at

Sasol is an integrated oil and gas company with substantial chemical interests. Based in South Africa and with international operations, Sasol is listed on the New York Stock Exchange and JSE stock exchange in Johannesburg. Sasol is the leading provider of liquid fuels in South Africa and a major international producer of chemicals. Sasol uses proprietary Fischer-Tropsch technologies for the commercial production of synthetic fuels and chemicals from low-grade coal and natural gas. It manufactures more than 200 fuel and chemical products that are sold worldwide. In South Africa Sasol also operates coal mines to provide feedstock for its synthetic fuels plants. Sasol operates South Africa's only inland crude oil refinery. The group produces crude oil in offshore Gabon, supplies Mozambican natural gas to end-user customers and petrochemical plants in South Africa, and with partners is developing gas-to-liquids fuel joint ventures in Qatar and Nigeria. More information on Sasol is available at


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