Baton Rouge’s Daily Report is reporting that Shell is no longer pursuing plans for a massive gas-to-liquids plant near Sorrento in Ascension Parish. The Baton Rouge-based website confirmed cancellation of the plans with Louisiana Economic Development Secretary Stephen Moret and Shell’s CEO.

Shell Pearl GTL
Shell's Pearl GTL plant in Qatar, the world's largest

“Shell’s abrupt decision to cancel its North American GTL project just 10 weeks after concluding a multi-year site-selection process is obviously very disappointing news,” says LED Secretary Stephen Moret in a statement to Daily Report.

The proposed natural gas-to-liquids facility in Ascension Parish promised 740 jobs paying an average salary of $100,000 plus benefits.

According to the terms of an incentive agreement with the state, the Hague-based oil giant at a minimum would have spent $12.5 billion if the project were built. Shell and Gov. Bobby Jindal announced the proposed deal in late September.

The project would have used natural gas to produce 140,000 barrels a day of liquid fuels and other products normally made from oil. "Despite the ample supplies of natural gas in the area, the company has taken the decision that GTL is not a viable option for Shell in North America, at this time, due to the likely development cost of such a project, uncertainties on long-term oil and gas prices and differentials, and Shell’s strict capital discipline," the company announced in a press release Thursday.

In 1993 Shell started the first commercial gas-to-liquids plant, using a process developed in Germany to make fuels during World War II. The company completed the $19 billion Pearl gas-to-liquids facility (pictured above) in Qatar in 2011. It is the largest in the world.

Sasol Ltd., based in South Africa, plans to build an $11 billion-$14 billion gas-to-liquids plant in the Lake Charles area.

Read Shell's release here more from ABiz here.

Read Daily Report’s story here.

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