Qatar, the gas-to-liquids capital of the world, will host this year's triennial Natural Gas Conversion Symposium (NGCS) in Doha. Sasol and ORYX GTL are platinum sponsors of the symposium, which will see academics, industry professionals and government come together. The symposium will take place from 2 – 7 March 2013 at Ritz Carlton Doha Hotel and is organised under the patronage of H.E. Dr Mohammed bin Saleh Al-Sada, Minister of Energy and Industry of Qatar, and Chairman of the lead sponsor, Qatar Petroleum (QP).

"Sasol is pleased to sponsor this event, bringing world leaders in the gas production and conversion fields to Qatar," said Marjo Louw, President of Sasol Qatar. "Working with QP on ORYX GTL, our GTL joint venture here in Qatar, we are redefining success and driving the commercial acceptance of GTL around the world. We look forward to the discussions on global energy challenges and how we can contribute to the solutions through Sasol's technology innovations in gas conversion."

Abdulrahman M. Al-Suwaidi, CEO of ORYX GTL, said, "We welcome the opportunity to sponsor the event in this, the century of natural gas, in the State of Qatar, the world's GTL capital. ORYX GTL welcomes thought-provoking symposia such as NGCS that advance the science and business of gas conversion and which are helping shape the future of our industry."

Natural gas has emerged as a major component in the global power generation market but, until recently, it lacked the versatility to address other pressing energy needs. With GTL technology, in which Sasol is globally recognised as a commercial and technical pioneer, natural gas can be transformed into a range of high quality energy and chemical products, including transport fuels, base oils, waxes, and naphtha. GTL offers gas owners the opportunity to diversify their gas monetisation strategies.

At the core of Sasol's GTL technology is the Sasol Slurry Phase Distillate™ process (SPD™ process), a three stage process which combines three leading proprietary technologies. In the first stage, natural gas is combined with oxygen to form a syngas. Syngas is then subjected to a Fischer-Tropsch conversion to produce waxy syncrude. In the final stage, syncrude is processed to produce final products. The strength of the Sasol SPD™ process is not simply the inherent quality of the three component technologies but also the way they are integrated to increase efficiency and optimise output. This efficient integration is founded on Sasol's unrivalled experience of more than 60 years of synthetic fuels production.

The Sasol SPDTM process lies at the heart of ORYX GTL's success at the forefront of global GTL commercialisation – producing more than 32 400 barrels per day of GTL diesel, GTL naphtha and LPG to the highest technical and environmental specifications.

ORYX GTL is also widely recognized for its uncompromising approach to safety, consistently setting new world-leading standards. Last August the Company became only the second in Qatar ever to achieve a Zero Total Recordable Incident Rate (TRIR). Two weeks later, it reached another historic safety milestone of 10,000,000 man-hours without any recordable incidents or lost work days.

Since 1987, The Natural Gas Conversion Symposium has brought together the world's leaders in synthesis gas production and utilisation to share information on the latest trends in research and technology development in these fields.

The agenda of the NGCS is set to cover leading-edge topics on the latest research and development, as well as technology solutions relating to the conversion of fossil resources. These topics include biomass and waste to syngas, energy, hydrogen, liquid fuels and chemicals. Sasol and ORYX GTL specialists will give presentations and speeches at the symposium.