GTL products are colourless, odourless liquid hydrocarbons of very high quality that have very low levels of impurities such as sulphur, aromatics and nitrogen. They are very similar to oil-derived products but, when burned, produce fewer pollutants and less particulate matter. As urbanisation around the world increases, we believe GTL provides governments with a viable solution to improve local air quality.
A GTL investment can also be a catalyst for building a differentiated economy that promotes innovation and stimulates further industrial and economic development.
Our GTL technology turns natural gas into valuable, high-quality transport fuels, motor oils and ingredients for everyday necessities such as plastics, detergents and cosmetics. It is the result of more than 45 years of research, development and commercial experience. It enables natural gas resource holders to access the global oil products market, which helps those who want to diversify risk, while stimulating in-country development.
Shell has achieved a leading competitive position in GTL, with uniquely differentiated premium products that enable us to capture a strong margin uplift across Shell’s integrated value chain. We adapt our GTL product range to meet the evolving needs of our customers.
Our proprietary Shell GTL technology is at the heart of our GTL plants. We have filed more than 3,500 patents in developing our GTL process.
In 1993, we opened the world’s first commercial GTL plant in Bintulu, Malaysia, with a capacity of 14,700 barrels of oil equivalent per day.
In 2011, we started up Pearl GTL in Qatar, with a capacity of about 140 thousand barrels of oil equivalent per day of high-quality liquid hydrocarbon products and 120 thousand barrels of oil equivalent per day of natural gas liquids (NGL) and ethane. In 2019 the plant achieved record safety and production performance levels.
Recognising the market demand for mid-sized GTL facilities between the scales of SMDS (Bintulu) and Pearl GTL, Shell has developed a more flexible technology that can be used for a range of GTL plant sizes.