Skip to comments.Shale Gas Will Fuel a U.S. Manufacturing Boom
Posted on 01/14/2013 3:09:10 PM PST by 2ndDivisionVet
Chemical producers abandoned the U.S. in droves. Cheap natural gas is luring them back.
People predicting a manufacturing renaissance in the United States usually imagine whirring robots or advanced factories turning out wind turbines and solar panels. The real American edge might be in something entirely more mundane: cheap starting materials for plastic bottles and plastic bags.
The plummeting price of natural gas, which can be used to make a vast number of products, including tires, carpet, antifreeze, lubricants, cloth, and many types of plastic, is luring key industries to the United States. Just five years ago, natural gas prices were so high that some chemicals manufacturers were shutting down operations here. Now the ability to access natural gas trapped in shale rock formations, using technologies such as hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling, has led to a surge in natural gas supplies that have lowered American gas prices to a fraction of prices in other countries (see King Natural Gas).
Over the last 18 months, low U.S. gas prices have prompted plans for the construction of new chemical plants for the production of ethylene, ammonia for fertilizer, and diesel fuels. Dow Chemical, for example, plans to spend $4 billion to expand its U.S. chemicals production, including a new plant, due to open in 2017, in Freeport, Texas. The plant will make ethylene from the ethane found in many sources of natural gas. (The last such plant to be built in the U.S. was completed in 2001).
The impact of the resurgence is being felt most strongly in the $148 billion market for ethylene, the worlds most high-volume chemical, and the foundation for many other industries. Its used to make bottles, toys, clothes, windows, pipes, carpet, tires, and many other products. Since ethylene is expensive to transport over long distances...
(Excerpt) Read more at technologyreview.com ...
My son is a Mechanical Engineering graduate student at a major US university. He says that a lot of manufacturing is moving back to the US, because our energy costs are lower than in China.
But, they will take all the credit for it and the dummys will go for it all hook line and sinker. They will not notice that most of it is being done on private land where Obama has no say-so.
Barring DRASTIC changes, the epidemic will only spread.
Just as Clinton got all of the credit for all of the jobs created by the tech boom. Unfortunately, most Americans still give him credit for creating those jobs.
Sounds great. Manufacturing returning and all.
But the big sharp fangs of Obamacare don’t start biting until 2014. That’s when Obama voters and wealth producers are going to start saying “Hey, wait a minute....”
With fracturing and side-ways drilling that is giving us decades worth of natural gas has reduced the price of natural gas, there will come a time that natural gas producers can't keep up with the demand in the future. I see natural gas as the future and it will be a great investment. I'm thinking about 5 years out to buy Chesapeake.
It will take many years to convert the oil/gasoline refineries and build the lines, but it will happen. Think coal plants shutting down and nuke plants not being built. The era of coal is going away, not because of Obama, but because it is in-efficient.
Forget the environmental-nazis - natural gas is our future. Those a**wholes will try everything they can to stop fossil fuel and worship wind/solar, but natural gas is so clean burning, their arguements will fail.
Once natural gas becomes more prevalent in various transportation and home/company/transportation use, their position will become moot.
Still, I reserve the right to put gasoline in my 2000 vette (C-5). Have you seen the new C-7 (2014 model)Corvette? It is the ugliest Corvette ever built. It looks like a cross of a Nissan and Camaro. Thanks for that Fedgov General Motors. The designers screwed up. I'm going to send a message to the CEO of Chevrolet and tell them that is the ugliest Corvette ever. BTW, I still own a 2000 (C-5) corvette. Our government is just dumb as stupid and so is GM.