Hydrocarbon Processing Copying and distributing are prohibited without permission of the publisher

North American olefin producers riding the shale gas wave

04.01.2013  |  Tallman, M. J.,  KBR, Houston, TexasKlavers, R. ,  KBR, Houston, Texas

With the prospect of abundant low-cost ethane, several producers have announced intentions to build new ethylene capacity.

Keywords: [petrochemicals] [olefins] [ethylene] [propylene] [shale gas] [FCC] [naphtha]

Feedstock prices are a major determinant factor in ethylene production costs. Feedstocks for steam cracking are derived from natural gas (ethane, propane and butane) or crude oil—naphtha and gasoil (GO). Steam crackers in Western Europe and Asia are mostly based on naphtha feedstock, while crackers in the Middle East, North America and parts of Southeast Asia are mostly based on gas feeds. Development of shale gas in North America has led to a significant drop in natural gas prices relative to crude oil prices. Fig. 1 shows the near-term trends for energy prices, especially for crude oil and natural gas (US), and the resultant ratio.


  Fig. 1. Energy pricing trends for crude oil
  and natural gas, 2000–2012. 

To continue reading please, log in to hydrocarbonprocessing.com.

Subscribe now for premium access and unlimited access to the site, including archived articles and the process handbooks.  Start a free trial to gain access to articles from the current issue of Hydrocarbon Processing. 

Already have an account?


Subscribe today and gain unlimited and immediate access to the site. Plus, you'll receive the next 12 issues of the magazine in your choice of print or digital format. Start your subscription today.

Free trial

Start a free trial and gain immediate access to the current issue of the magazine plus additional, select content.

30 Day Trial

Related articles


Sign-up for the Free Daily HP Enewsletter!

Boxscore Database

A searchable database of project activity in the global hydrocarbon processing industry


Is 2016 the peak for US gasoline demand?




View previous results

Popular Searches

Please read our Term and Conditions and Privacy Policy before using the site. All material subject to strictly enforced copyright laws.
© 2016 Hydrocarbon Processing. © 2016 Gulf Publishing Company.