January 2014

Special Report: Natural Gas Developments

The ethane addiction: How long will the US advantage last?

The US petrochemical price advantage gained from shale is well known, but the impact of that advantage on competition between the US and Europe is also important.

Wanichko, J., T.A. Cook Consultants Inc.

The price advantage US petrochemical producers have gained from shale has been well documented, but the wider effect of that advantage on competition between Europe and the US demands equal attention. Here, the increasing use of ethane as a feedstock and its effects on the global petrochemical industry, both in terms of product availability and the market-specific nuances that affect the survival of its key players, are examined. United States of shale Until 2006, shale was responsible for almost none of the US’ crude oil demand, of which approximately 10 million barrels per day (MMbpd) of the 16 MMbpd were imported. However, by July 2013, the Bakken and Eagle Ford shale plays in th

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