Qatar opens huge natural gas plant

European energy giant Royal Dutch Shell says Qatar's emir has inaugurated a huge facility to convert natural gas into liquid fuel.

The official launch on Tuesday caps years of work on the Pearl Gas-to-Liquids project at the industrial city of Ras Laffan in the gas-rich nation.

Shell says the facility began operation in the first quarter of this year, with additional production capacity brought online this month.

Shell and state-run Qatar Petroleum launched the Pearl GTL project in 2006.

Shell is funding the project, which aims to eventually produce the equivalent of 260,000 barrels a day of liquid fuels and other related products. It estimates Pearl will cost $18 billion to $19 billion to complete.
 

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