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Qatar’s al Shaheen refinery project is under review as state oil firm Qatar Petroleum looks into construction costs, a company official said on Tuesday.

Energy companies worldwide have revised plans for new projects due to the lower oil price and falling demand, but also in view of cheaper costs for raw materials.

Middle East oil producers Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have used the fall in commodity prices to drive down costs for new projects.

Qatar was looking for similar cost savings at al Shaheen, said Jassim Darwish, senior project development engineer at QP refining and manufacturing ventures.

“The project is under assessment due to changes in market conditions … cost is the main thing, the main task is to optimise costs,” he told reporters on the sidelines of an energy conference.

Qatar has completed the preliminary engineering and design study on the project, but gone no further than that, Darwish said. This gave the country flexibility to bring down costs as it was not committed to purchasing agreements for equipment, he added.

Darwish declined to give an estimate on the Shaheen plant’s cost. Qatar has previously said the refinery at the industrial city of Mesaieed would have capacity of up to 250,000 barrels per day. The plant was initially scheduled to start up in 2010.

Reuters


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