Processing Magazine

Shale gas to spark investment in US petrochemical industry, Chevron Phillips exec says

March 7, 2012

HOUSTON — Chevron Phillips Chemical Co. Executive Vice President Mark Lashier said inexpensive shale gas in the U.S. may entice petrochemical companies to spend as much as $30 billion to build factories that convert natural gas into plastics, Bloomberg reported.

Output from shale formations will yield enough natural-gas liquids such as ethane to support about five new crackers, plants that produce ethylene and related plastics, Lashier said at CERAWeek, a Houston conference held by HIS Cambridge Energy Research Associates.

According to Lashier, Chevron Phillips is spending $5 billion to build a new ethylene plant in Baytown, Texas, by 2017 as well as two polyethylene plants and related infrastructure.

Dow Chemical Co., Sasol Ltd., Formosa Plastic Corp and Royal Dutch Shell Plc are also looking into building new plants, the report stated.