|A good write up of what KMI is in the middle of :|
US Ethane Consumption Expected to Boom
Feb. 20--The U.S. Department of Energy projects that during the next two years, domestic growth in ethane consumption in the burgeoning petrochemicals industry will surpass that of all other petroleum and liquid products combined as ethylene crackers and plastics plants expand along the Gulf Coast.Ethane is a natural gas liquid used as a feedstock for ethylene, which is the building block for most plastics. Last year, three new Gulf Coast ethylene crackers boosted domestic ethane consumption to 1.2 billion barrels a day(do they even bother to proof read?), the agency reported.
The ethylene surge comes amid a Gulf Coast petrochemicals boom driven by an abundance of cheap natural gas flowing from West Texas shale fields such as the prolific Permian basin. By 2019, the agency expects ethylene crackers now under construction to boost ethane consumption to 1.6 million barrels a day.
Other major projects are underway. French oil major Total SA, for example, affirmed this week plans to build a $1.7 billion ethane steam cracker alongside its Port Arthur refinery as part of a joint venture with Austrian and Canadian companies Borealis AG and NOVA Chemicals Corp.
The Energy Department also anticipates ethane exports to increase to 310,000 barrels a day in 2019, up from from 180,000 barrels a day last year. Kinder Morgan's Utopia pipeline, which last month began transporting ethane products to Canada from Ohio's Utica shale play, is expected to drive part of that growth."
Thanks to Ditchdigger for the link.