Shell to Return to Qatar as Partner in World-Scale Petchems JV
Shell is expected to partner with Qatar Petroleum in the recently revived petrochemical project at Ras Laffan. Shell was formerly a partner with Qatar Petroleum in the multi-billion dollar Al-Karaana petrochemical project at Ras Laffan, but this was shelved in 2015. Qatar Petroleum has since revived plans for the complex. The new complex will include an ethane cracker with capacity for more than 1.6 million metric tons/year (MMt/y) of ethylene. It will also include world-scale derivatives plants, which will consolidate Qatar’s position among the leading petrochemical producers. The Ras Laffan petchems project will be Shell’s first ethylene cracker in the Middle East following its withdrawal from Saudi Petrochemical Co. (Sadaf). The company’s total ethylene capacity, including its share of offtake rights, rose by 10.6% to 6.5 MMt/y last year. This included 2.53 MMt/y in Asia, 2.27 MMt/y in the Americas, and 1.7 MMt/y in Europe. Source: IHS Chemical Week, 5/1/2019.
TCGR Note: In 2017, Shell sold its share in Saudi Petrochemicals (Sadaf) to SABIC for $820 MIL. In 2015 its Ras Laffan JV with Qatar Petroleum got shelved due to high investment costs and the collapse in the oil price. Shell is already a major investor in Qatar as 100% owner of its Pearl GTL plant at 140,000 boe/d and with 30% interest in Qatargas 4.