Published On:April 9 2010
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Qatar refinery to start expansion

Qatar refinery to start expansion Ras Laffan: Qatar will start work on expanding the recently inaugurated Ras Laffan condensate refinery in early 2011.

The 146,000 barrels per day (bpd) Ras Laffan plant, which currently produces 24,000 bpd of gas oil, 52,000 bpd of kerosene and jet fuel and 8,000 bpd of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) will be aimed at markets in Southeast Asia and Europe.

Contracts for the second phase of the refinery are expected to be awarded by the first half of next year.

The biggest product stream at the plant will be the petrochemical feedstock and gasoline component naphtha.

Naphtha output at the refinery will be 63,000 bpd, and Asia will be the main export market for the light fuel.

Kerosene and jet fuel produced at the refinery will be shipped mainly to western markets, and the gas oil output will be redirected into the local Qatari and regional Middle Eastern markets.

State-funded Qatar Petroleum operates the Ras Laffan refinery and has a 51 percent stake. Other shareholders are Total with 10 per cent, Exxon Mobil with 10 per cent, Cosmo with 10 per cent, Idemitsu with 10 percent, Mitsui with 4.5 per cent and Marubeni with 4.5 per cent.

He added that rising prices were linked to speculators and he did not see a need for Opec to change output quotas.

Opec has stuck to output quotas agreed in December 2008 to keep supply at 24.84 million bpd.

Opec members and some consumer nations have expressed concern about the role of speculators in energy markets, which some experts say exaggerates price swings beyond what supply and demand fundamentals justify.

The US is proposing position limits on oil futures as part of efforts to limit volatility.

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