From Bloomberg News/Akron Beacon Journal today:
Borealis AG, an Austrian petrochemical company controlled by Abu Dhabi, signed a long-term ethane supply contract with Antero Resources (AR) as it pushes ahead with a plan to import cheaper U.S. feedstock for its plant in Sweden.
Antero has significant holdings in the Utica shale in southeastern Ohio.
The ethane would be shipped from the Marcus Hook terminal near Philadelphia, starting in late 2016.
Navigator Holdings (NVGS) will undertake the shipping of ethane from the U.S., with the construction of a new vessel underway, the Vienna-based company said in a statement. Borealis’ steam cracker in Stenungsund will see a multi-million investment to upgrade the facility and the construction of an ethane storage tank, it said without giving further details.
“We need to take advantage of the significant shift in ethane availability triggered by the U.S. shale gas boom,” Borealis Chief Executive Officer Mark Garrett said in the statement. “In an increasingly challenging environment in Europe, this is an exciting opportunity to increase the competitiveness of our integrated polyolefins business.”
Borealis is joining Ineos Group Holdings, Europe’s other owner of flexible crackers that can operate on ethane rather than naptha, in tapping cheap feedstock from the U.S.’s Marcellus and Utica shale formations as North Sea energy supplies wane.
A rennaissance in the U.S. chemical industry, fueled by shale, and increased production in the Middle East and China poses a threat to European plants. While BASF SE’s petrochemical facilities are fully integrated into its naphtha cracker, helping maximize efficiency, isolated petrochemical plants will face the greatest cost presssure.
Chesapeake Energy Corp,the Oklahoma-based firm is the No. 1 driller in Ohio.
Rig Count Interactive Map by Baker Hughes, an energy services company.
Shale Sheet Fracking, a Youngstown Vindicator blog.
The Ohio Environmental Council, a statewide eco-group based in Columbus.
Earthjustice, a national eco-group.
People's Oil and Gas Collaborative-Ohio, a grass-roots group in Northeast Ohio.
Concerned Citizens of Medina County, a grass-roots group.
No Frack Ohio, a Columbus-based grass-roots group.
Fracking: Gas Drilling's Environmental Threat by ProPublica, an online journalism site.
Pipeline, blog from Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Marcellus shale drilling.
Allegheny Front, environmental public radio for Western Pennsylvania.