An Airline Fleet Fueled by Natural Gas
At the end of next year, Qatar Airways is scheduled to open a new airport that will include a 25-meter swimming pool and squash courts, among other amenities. But it will also be extraordinary from an energy standpoint because it will pump airline fuel made from natural gas.
Qatar has relatively little oil and vast supplies of natural gas. Oil goes on tankers to distant destinations, but moving natural gas is much harder for the Persian Gulf emirate. So Royal Dutch/Shell built a gas-to-liquids plant called Pearl that makes a variety of liquid fuels.
Qatar is not quite the first out of the box with this approach. That would be South Africa, which was driven to make liquids from coal in the days when its apartheid regime faced trade sanctions and the country could not import oil. Now the country makes diesel and jet fuel from coal because it makes economic sense.