Pearl GTL – an overview

Pearl GTL: the world’s largest gas-to-liquids plant ships first products

Pearl GTL will be the world’s largest source of gas-to-liquids (GTL) products, producing 140,000 barrels of GTL products each day. The plant will also produce 120,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day of natural gas liquids and ethane.

Key facts


Category: Integrated gas and gas-to-liquids project
Ownership: Development and Production Sharing Agreement with Government of the State Qatar, 100% Shell funding
Operator: Shell
Development cost: $18 billion-$19 billion
320 kboe/d of gas resulting in:
– 140 kboe/d of gas-to-liquids products (2 trains)
– 120 kboe/d of natural gas liquids and ethane
Total production: 3 billion boe of natural gas over the life of the project
Key contractors: JGC/KBR joint venture

Current developments

Construction at the Pearl GTL project, Qatar, 2010

Construction at the Pearl GTL project, Qatar, 2010

The Pearl GTL plant has sold its first commercial shipment of GTL Gasoil, marking the start of production. At the peak of construction more than 52,000 people worked on Pearl GTL. Around 2 million tonnes of equipment and materials were imported to the site and workers installed enough steel and pipes to make 2.5 Eiffel Towers every month.

Pearl’s control room, the nerve centre of one of the largest and most sophisticated process control systems in the oil and gas industry, has powered up. The control room comprises of almost 1,000 control cabinets hosting 200 computer servers, programmed with 12 million lines of software code. The system is linked to every part of the plant by about 5,850 kilometres of control cables which laid end-to-end would stretch from Doha to London.

Pearl GTL is a large and complex project. Since the project launch in July 2006 progress has been good. The project is proceeding in line with our expectations at the time of final investment decision (FID).

Pearl GTL will add almost 8% to Shell’s production worldwide — making it the company’s main engine for growth for 2012. It is expected to ship its first product in 2011 and reach full production in 2012.


The proprietary Shell Middle Distillate Synthesis (SMDS) process will be at the heart of the two-train Pearl GTL plant. Developed over more than three decades, the process has been proven on a commercial scale at the 14,700-barrel-per-day Bintulu GTL plant in Malaysia, which began operation in 1993. Shell has over 3,500 patents at all stages of the GTL process. The Bintulu experience helped improve the chemical catalysts integral to the SMDS process. These improvements will reduce unit capital expenditure, allow faster processing and should enable Shell to produce greater volumes of fuel and other products at Pearl.


Building on its extensive experience marketing GTL products from Bintulu, Shell will export Pearl’s high value, differentiated premium products, including GTL gasoil, kerosene, naphtha, normal paraffin and base oils for lubricants, to markets around the globe.

Environment and society

Together with Qatargas 4, Pearl GTL represents a multi-billion dollar commitment to Qatar by Shell and the project is being developed in line with our sustainable development principles.

The project has been designed to use technology that will help to limit any environmental impact. The facility is designed to use every drop of water as part of our approach to not release any liquids from the plant. Pearl GTL’s industrial water processing plant will be the world’s largest, recovering, treating and re-using all the industrial process water. With a capacity to treat 280,000 barrels a day of water, Pearl GTL’s water treatment plant is comparable to that for a city of 140,000 people.

(source :                                                                                  (** Dukhan, Tuesday Night 20-12-2011 at 10:20 pm)

About Risman Dukhan

Process learning never stops until the end of our life. Never regard study as a duty but as an enviable opportunity to learn to know the liberating influence of beauty in the realm of the spirit for your own personal joy and to the profit of the community to which your later works belong.
This entry was posted in Engineering, News & Info, Process Technology and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s