Skip to comments.Surge of industrial projects could lift U.S. gas demand by 19 percent
Posted on 07/09/2014 5:25:40 AM PDT by thackney
A wave of gas-to-liquids investments and other U.S. industrial projects will likely boost demand for natural gas by 19 to 31 percent through the end of the decade, a new study shows.
After shale gas flooded U.S. markets, chemical makers and other firms planned enough gas-intensive industrial projects now under construction or obtaining permits to boost daily industrial gas demand from 19.6 to 23.5 billion cubic feet of gas per day in 2020, according to the University of Texas Center for Energy Economics.
All told, thats an $83 billion venture. If all 144 proposed industrial projects are built, itll lift demand to 26 billion cubic feet per day over the next six years a $121 billion round of investments.
Both cases are higher than estimates by the Energy Information Administration, but the group says it collects industry data using a different approach than the government analytics agency.
Makers of plastics, paints, chemicals, electronics and many consumer goods have jumped on the surge in U.S. shale gas supplies, especially after prices fell sharply in 2012 when markets were overrun with sellers.
The Center for Energy Economics said there are 14 new ethylene crackers projects planned five new plants, and nine expansions worth a combined $26 billion in investments through 2020.
Those plants, including Exxon Mobil Chemical Corp.s ethane cracker now under construction in the Houston area, will turn abundant, cheap shale gas into resin pellets that will become the building blocks for plastic products like food packaging, as developing markets surge overseas.
Combined, those 14 facilities will add 9.3 million tons per year to the U.S. ethane cracking capacity.
The study showed six planned methanol plants, like Dutch fertilizer company OCI N.V.s proposed facility in Beaumont, will cost a combined $3.5 billion and boost the nations capacity to produce a key component of fertilizer, paint and electronics by 5.9 million tons per year.
Another $14 billion will be needed to build 16 planned ammonia plants over the next six years. Those facilities, including a Freeport, Texas project jointly owned by chemical makers BASF and Yara, make plastics building blocks and are expected to add 13.6 million tons per year of U.S. capacity.
And five planned gas-to-liquids facilities, like Sasols massive project in Lake Charles, Louisiana, would cost a combined $14.7 billion. Those projects would boost U.S. capacity to make diesel and jet fuel by 103,300 barrels per day, according to the Center for Energy Economics.
In addition to the methanol, ammonia, ethane and gas-to-liquids projects that are already underway, companies have proposed 19 similar that could cost $25.4 billion, the study showed.
No, it doesn't turn natural gas into resin. The cracker turns ethane into ethylene (as stated by the same source in another article.
Polyethylene processing units, at different plants, then take that ethylene to plastic resins. ExxonMobil will have a couple units in nearby Mont Belvieu.
All that will do is create more dependence on FOREIGN oil. Odumbo and the EPA will put a stop to anything that helps reduce our dependency.
I do not follow you. I do not see that connection.
Sounds like a lot of work into the future for the heat exchanger and chiller unit manufacturers here in Tulsa.
You guys are having to flare off NG because there is not enough internal market for it yet. Your domestic NG price is still very low.
More industry that uses NG and moving lorry fleets over to NG are your best ways forward.
Sounds great all around!
This is good news for all of America!
And we need it.
No. Natural Gas is flared in the US due to lack of gathering systems. We have enough demand, we are still a net importer of Natural Gas, though that will likely change in the near future.