Shell and Qatar Petroleum shelve petrochemical plant as oil price plummets

THE HAGUE, Netherlands – Shell, Europe’s largest oil producer, and Qatar Petroleum said Wednesday that they are scrapping a planned petrochemicals project in the Gulf nation due to falling energy prices.

Shell said in a statement that high costs made the Al Karaana plant “commercially unfeasible, particularly in the current economic climate prevailing in the energy industry.”

Oil prices have slumped almost 60 per cent since June. Brent crude, a benchmark for international oils, was down 82 cents to $47 a barrel in London on Wednesday.

The joint-venture complex in Qatar, that was to have been owned 80 per cent by state-run Qatar Petroleum and 20 per cent by Shell, was supposed to be built in Ras Laffan Industrial City.

Qatar Petroleum said in a statement it will study how to use ethane made available by the decision not to move ahead with the al-Karaana Petrochemicals Project. It aims to expand and further develop petrochemical plants in the Gulf nation.