Qatargas 4 is a fully integrated liquefied natural gas (LNG) project. It comprises offshore production platforms and pipelines; onshore gas processing, treatment and liquefaction facilities (known as an LNG train); and a fleet of LNG carriers. Qatargas 4 (Train 7) is the last of the planned expansions by Qatargas to purify and liquefy natural gas.
The offshore and onshore facilities have been developed jointly with the Qatargas 3 project (Train 6), a joint venture between subsidiaries of Qatar Petroleum and ConocoPhillips. Both sets of facilities are operated on a fully integrated basis, with an equal share of LNG, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), condensates and sulphur production. This results in increased operational reliability and cost savings for the two ventures.
The joint offshore facilities produce about 2.9 billion cubic feet of gas per day from the North Field, with the LNG trains having the capacity to produce 7.8 mtpa of LNG each and around 70,000 b/d of natural gas liquids. The Qatargas 4 project started production in January 2011 and its first cargo was shipped to India in February 2011.
Qatargas 4 has chartered a fleet of eight LNG ships from Qatar Gas Transport Company Ltd. (Nakilat) to transport its share of the LNG to various markets. This includes four Q-Max LNG carriers (with a capacity of 266,000 cubic metres each) and four Q-Flex LNG carriers (with a capacity of 210,000 cubic metres each). The ships are operated by Nakilat with support from the Shell Shipping and Trading Company, STASCO.
At the time of final investment decision, LNG sales from the project primarily targeted the natural gas market in the USA. Over time, it has successfully managed to divert some of its LNG volumes to other markets.
In 2008, Qatargas 4 opened up new markets for Qatari LNG through long-term sales to China and Dubai.
The project’s current sales portfolio comprises a mix of long-term LNG sales, short/mid-term sales and spot LNG sales. Qatargas 4 continues to look for opportunities to further optimise its sales portfolio.
Environment and society
Together with Pearl GTL, Qatargas 4 represents a multi-billion dollar commitment to Qatar by Shell. The project was developed in line with Shell’s sustainable development principles.
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