Europe could end up with a risk of losing new petrochemical investments to the US and other countries because of its reluctance to embrace shale gas, as per head of SABIC, as reported by Financial Times. An increasing number of investors will head towards North America, China and the Middle East.
The US gas production boom - opened up by advances in hydraulic fracturing of shale rock - has provided two important benefits – driving down gas prices, making electricity cheaper for the energy-hungry industry, and resulting in production of ethane to be used as a feedstock for ethylene production. This had led to a big expansion in petrochemical facilities in the US, where Sabic is eyeing potential investments to take advantage of cheap shale gas. In Europe, however, a number of countries including France have banned fracking because of concerns about its impact on water supplies and other environmental issues.