Asia condensate demand to double by 2016

Asia's condensate demand is expected to double by 2016 as refiners and petrochemical makers build splitters to process an abundant supply of the super light crude into raw materials for making plastics and for producing better quality gasoline to feed demand, as per Reuters. Condensate splitters of close to 550,000 barrels per day (bpd) in capacity would start operating between 2012 and 2016, industry data showed. South Korea, China and Singapore are building distillation units that cost less than one seventh of a typical refinery to process large volumes of condensate produced along with liquefied natural gas (LNG). By the time these facilities come online, condensate sales from top suppliers such as Qatar, also the world's biggest LNG exporter, are slated to fall as the nation feeds local demand that is expected to rise with more splitters coming up there. That will open the Asian market to condensate supplies from Russia and North America. "Within the East of Suez region, we've kind of hit a hiatus" in new supply, said Al Troner, president of Houston-based Asia Pacific Energy Consulting. "But I think that's going to give the window of opportunity for extra-regional sellers to start coming in." Condensate splitters mainly produce naphtha. Asia is short of the product, especially the heavy grade needed for making aromatics, and as an octane booster in gasoline.
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