… Ethylene is frequently used as a barometer for the entire petrochemical industry. It’s one of the most important building blocks of the modern world.
You use products made from ethylene every day of your life: food packaging, trash bags, diapers, toys, drums, bottles, window frames, pipes, automobile antifreeze, all kinds of clothing, carpet, tires, shoes, laundry detergents, flooring, adhesives…
I could go on, but you get the picture. You’re surrounded by ethylene-based products. You can’t get away from them, no matter how hard you try. Crude oil and electricity make our world go and keep it warm in the winter, cool in the summer, and well-lit at night, but much of the stuff that makes our world so advanced today is due to ethylene.
So if you think the global economy will continue to grow for the next few decades – as perhaps one billion-plus Chinese and Indians attain middle-class status – you must believe ethylene consumption will grow, too. And if you understand how important ethylene is in the manufacture of much of our modern world, a large, new, low-cost supply of the stuff is a boon to whoever owns it. Well, that supply is right here in the United States.
Before we move on, let’s summarize our manufacturing renaissance idea into some digestible bullet points:Dan Ferris from Extreme Value, August 2011
• Natural gas from shales is abundant in the U.S.
• Natural gas shales contain an abundance of natural gas liquids… ethane is in especially abundant supply in the Marcellus shale (the largest known gas shale).
• Ethane has one market: as a feedstock for making ethylene.
• Ethylene is the most widely produced organic compound in the world, the cornerstone of the global petrochemical market.
• Ethylene is used in so many manufactured goods… and it’s used in polyethylene, the most widely used plastic.
• An abundance of gas, ethane and ethylene plants will bring customers.
• Abundant supplies of natural gas, ethane and ethylene mean the U.S. will gain a cost advantage over the rest of the world in ethylene production… likely leading to an American Industrial Renaissance.
• Major petrochemical and energy companies have kicked off the American Industrial Renaissance, and are planning to build natural gas-processing and ethylene production facilities to exploit the now-abundant supplies of natural gas and natural gas liquids (primarily ethane).”