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Qatar’s Oil and Gas R&D Push

Youssif Saleh, general manager of Qatar Shell Research and Technology Centre in the Qatar Science and Technology Park, discusses the R&D strategy of the center and in Qatar.

What are the main drivers behind the decision to establish an R&D center in the Middle East?

We are pleased about the role that Qatar plays in Shell’s overall technology strategy through our world-class research and development program based at the Qatar Shell Research and Technology Centre (QSRTC). This makes QSRTC a member of Shell’s wider R&D community, which includes technology centers in cities such as Amsterdam and Houston. QSRTC’s mandate is to provide a home for research that adds value both to the state of Qatar, to Shell, and to our partners. Therefore, our work is focused on the development and implementation of technologies that support Qatar’s specific needs, as well as support Qatar’s role as the world’s largest liquefied natural gas exporter and the gas-to-liquids (GTL) capital of the world. Moreover, we work with many of Qatar’s universities and academic institutions abroad, and provide training in R&D to Qatari national staff as part of Shell’s support for Qatar’s journey toward a knowledge-based economy.

When was QSRTC established and on what specific areas of R&D does it focus its efforts?

We have been an anchor tenant at the Qatar Science and Technology Park (QSTP), a home for technology-based companies from around the world, since 2008 with a USD-100-million funding commitment over 10 years. That was also the year we became the first tenant of QSTP to file a patent based on research conducted in Qatar. The center’s current activities build upon Shell’s extensive experience in the GTL field and focuses specifically on catalyst testing, product development, and GTL byproduct research, including water treatment and reuse. Catalysts are a key focus area since they are essential to the process that converts natural gas into liquid fuels and other products at our Pearl GTL facility, the largest GTL plant in the world. Our researchers have also worked on developing new uses for sulfur, a coproduct of the GTL process, and are collaborating with scientists from around the world on improving the understanding of carbonate reservoirs.

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Qatar’s Oil and Gas R&D Push

Abdelghani Henni, JPT Middle East Staff Writer

01 April 2014

Volume: 66 | Issue: 4

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