Royal Dutch Shell Plc spent $19 billion, triple the original estimate, to build the world’s largest gas-to-liquids plant. Now, it’s pay-off time and the company says the project may generate $6 billion a year.

Shell needs the plant, known as Pearl, to bolster output, which fell for a seventh year in 2009 in part because rebel violence hampered oil ventures in Nigeria. Qatar, the arid Gulf state that’s become the world’s biggest exporter of gas on ships, may account for 10 percent of the company’s production after Pearl and a liquefied natural gas project start deliveries next year.

Shell’s work in Qatar is “like creating a new Nigeria,” Andrew Brown, the company’s executive vice president for the country, said in an interview in the capital, Doha. Pearl will begin processing gas toward the end of this year and start delivering fuel in early 2011, he said.


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