Massive Milestone Qatar LNG Project Goes Forward
- John Sheehan (Contributing Editor)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- December 2009
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 31 - 32
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Qatar Petroleum and ExxonMobil officially inaugurated Train 6 of their Rasgas liquefied-natural-gas (LNG) project in Qatar in late October, boosting plans to produce 77 million tonnes per annum (t/a) of LNG from the Middle East state by the end of the decade.
The train, which has a capacity of 7.8 million t/a, is one of the largest in the world and brings the overall LNG production capacity of RasGas to 28.5 million t/a. The milestone, which was marked by an inauguration ceremony on 27 October, was the result of a long-term development project involving major offshore and onshore construction, subsurface drilling, and engineering works.
Train 6 is one of a new generation of LNG “mega trains,” which are each capable of producing 7.8 million t/a of LNG. Its startup is expected to be followed by the coming on stream of Train 7, which also has a capacity of 7.8 million t/a, before the end of this year.
The two new mega trains have been built at the RasGas site adjacent to its existing facilities at Ras Laffan Industrial City in Qatar. Both Trains 6 and 7 will be supplied with natural gas from Qatar’s giant North Field, which is estimated to contain in excess of 900 Tcf of natural gas.
The startup of Trains 6 and 7, which are owned by Ras Laffan Natural Gas Company 3 (in which Qatar Petroleum has a 70% share and ExxonMobil 30%), will allow RasGas to begin supplying LNG to new customers around the world, including the US and Asian markets.
“Working in partnership with Qatar Petroleum, Ras Laffan 3 Train 6 represents yet another technological milestone that will help supply the growing global demand for clean-burning natural gas,” said Neil Duffin, president of ExxonMobil Development Company. “Advanced technologies, strong project-execution skills, and economies of scale have reduced the cost of producing and transporting LNG, thereby extending our ability to bring LNG to more people around the world.”
The large production capacity is a big step up from the 4.7 million t/a that RasGas Trains 3, 4, and 5 each produced.
“Train 6 is a clear demonstration of RasGas’ confidence and ambition,” said Hamad Rashid Al Mohannadi, managing director and chief executive officer of RasGas. “It is time to recognize the skill, determination, and sheer hard work of everyone involved in delivering, safely and within budget, a very successful project outcome.
“At this time, special recognition must also be made to our shareholders, Qatar Petroleum and ExxonMobil, who continue to demonstrate commitment and support each step of the way. Together, we can look to the future with great confidence.”
Al Mohannadi said that every aspect of the new train had to be scaled up, from pipeline diameters to power supply and everything in between. “RasGas’ project teams embraced these challenges and delivered excellent results,” he added.
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