Posts Tagged ‘shale gas’

Immigration reform debate not lost on US petrochemical industry

The US petrochemical industry has the money, the cheap feedstocks, the technology and the projects to boom in a way perhaps never seen thanks to shale gas.

What it lacks is enough skilled labor to see these projects through. And as industry players will tell you, that’s a huge problem.

“This problem isn’t going to go away,” Dow Chemical VP Jim Fitterling said at the recently held IHS World Petrochemical Conference in Houston. “In fact, it has the potential to get worse.”

Read the rest of this entry »

At the Wellhead: Unconventional drilling comes to Australia’s Cooper Basin

Christine Forster writes from Australia that 2014 is going to be a key year in the quest to develop unconventional oil and gas resources in that country’s Cooper Basin. Her discussion of it is the focus of this week’s Oilgram News column, At the Wellhead.

Read the rest of this entry »

The iceman cometh again: winter isn’t over for US natural gas markets

After the wallop of the polar vortex earlier this month that sent US gas demand and US Northeast gas prices soaring to all-time highs, one would think that the worst is over, no?

That would be a negative.

Read the rest of this entry »

Is Shell’s decision to scrap GTL project an omen for US petchems?

Shell’s recent decision to abandon plans for a massively expensive gas-to-liquids project in the US Gulf Coast serves to further illustrate the complicated conundrum many petrochemical companies are faced with these days: to build or not to build.

And yet, as 2013 comes to a close, the North American petrochemical industry remains rather bullish on shale gas.

The $100 billion investment figure gets thrown around with wild abandon. Everyone wants to cash in on cheap feedstocks…still. Not one company has abandoned a major petrochemical project, at least not publicly. Read the rest of this entry »

Solar may be competitive with natural gas…someday

Solar can become competitive internationally with natural gas by 2025, claims a study authored by Lux Research. But there are several caveats to that assertion.

For example, the study said, solar becomes competitive if there is a 39% decline in utility-scale system costs by 2030 and accompanied by barriers to shale gas production, such as anti-fracking policies in Europe and the high cost of capital in South America.

Read the rest of this entry »

Can US Northeast natural gas demand rise again?

The US Northeast is flooded with natural gas such that supplies are desperately trying to find alternative homes in eastern Canada, the Midwest and the Southeast.

Effectively — with the US Northeast due to pump out 13 Bcf/d by year’s end — the region has become what the pre-Katrina US Gulf Coast once was: the production basin in North America. Read the rest of this entry »

Australian minnow Real Energy aims to emulate coalseam gas success story

A small gas company will list on the Australian stock market later this year with hopes that the interest generated in its Cooper Basin unconventional resources can help it replicate the extraordinary success of Queensland coalseam gas pioneer QGC.

Real Energy, founded in 2009 and led by local oil industry executive Scott Brown, boasts Norman Zillman as non-executive director. Zillman is a 40-year oil and gas sector veteran and was a founder of QGC, which ended up as an eight-year “rags to riches” corporate success story.

Read the rest of this entry »

At the Wellhead: New pipelines will deal with Northeast ethane glut

The US shale gas revolution is producing a lot of ethane in the Northeast that doesn’t have an obvious market. New pipeline projects are taking care of that issue, as Bridget Hunsucker discusses in this week’s Oilgram News column, At the Wellhead.

Read the rest of this entry »

On the other side of the world, Kazakhs look at US shale gas

Platts Moscow-based reporter Dina Krennikova joined with Platts Washington-based reporter Brian Scheid to file this report from the Kazakhstan International Oil and Gas Conference in Almaty, Kazakhstan.

Roughly 6,500 miles from Texas, they were talking about the Barnett Shale this week.

With the Trans-Ili Alatau mountain range in the background, there was a little talk of the natural gas wells that continue to sprout up in the Marcellus, sparking natural gas boons in farm towns in Pennsylvania and Ohio, and even a mention of the Eagle Ford shale plays in south Texas.

These conversations have become almost mandatory at oil and gas conferences since the US shale boom began roughly five years ago, but this discussion was unique since it was taking place pretty much on the other side of the globe.

Read the rest of this entry »

Lost in translation? Why the US feedstock advantage might not mean lower prices for buyers of polyethylene

Talk to a plastics processor or buyer in South America, and watch their eyes light up when the subject turns to the shale gas boom and resulting petrochemical renaissance to their north.

For the better part of three years, they have heard constantly about how North America, and the United States in particular, will benefit greatly from lower feedstock costs thanks to shale, aggressively expand its production capacities for key chemicals and plastics, and further grow its presence in South America through a sharp increase in exports to the region.

Read the rest of this entry »