Shale from Marcellus providing impetus to the US petrochemical industry

20-Mar-12
Recent US shale gas discoveries are boosting the US petrochemical industry, and are set to contribute further to its growth by making ethane supplies from these reserves cheaper. Production from shale formations has driven the US natural gas production in the last five years and now these are turning out to be an alternative source for ethane production, as per GlobalData. Marcellus is the largest among all the shale formations in the US in terms of basin area and recoverable shale reserves, and its shallow depth and high organic content suitable for extraction and fractionation of gas has made it a highly valued discovery. Until now, ethane recovered from Marcellus has remained unused mainly because of the absence of petrochemical plants in nearby areas. Producers' plans to start new plants near the shale are set to change this. The play has also paved the way for the construction of pipeline networks to transport ethane from the Marcellus shale to other regions. Presently, Marcellus is the most active area from the petrochemical industry's perspective due to its economical feedstock recovery and planned pipeline, which will allow producers from distant regions to access feedstock from this shale formation. With the development of pipeline infrastructure, the Marcellus shale reserve is expected to contribute greatly to ethane production in the country.
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