India's Reliance Industries Ltd. revealed on Wednesday that it plans to ship 1.5 million tons per year of ethane from the United States.
Reliance is involved in three joint ventures in the United States — two in Pennsylvania's Marcellus Shale, with Chevron and with Carrizo Oil & Gas, and a third jointly operated business in the Eagle Ford Shale, Texas, with Pioneer Natural Resources. No details were given on which shale plays the ethane would come from and which midstream companies would transport it, Platts said.
Shipments are expected to start in the second half of 2016.
The natural gas liquid will be used as feedstock for Reliance's chemical complex in the Indian state of Gujarat.
Reuters noted that there is a cost advantage for crackers using ethane that is derived from shale natural gas liquids because it is cheaper than the alternative oil-derived feedstock naphtha for converting into products such as ethylene and propylene.
Reliance has so far invested a total of $7.36 billion in its three shale joint-ventures in the United States. Reuters quoted an undisclosed source who said that the company plans to invest an additional $2 billion in shale assets.
"Reliance's investments in shale gas and its existing crackers portfolio in India are a natural fit for sourcing ethane from North America and shipping it to India to attain long-term feedstock competitiveness," the company said in a statement.