Bountiful and cheap natural gas from U.S. shale is pitting energy companies against chemical and metals companies, writes the online news site Quartz.

Steve Levine at Quartz writes: "Rarely do the world’s energy-related companies–oil, gas, coal, chemicals–directly attack one another: The spoils are so large, and the dangers of blowback so pernicious, that no one wants to risk blowing the party for themselves. But the battle to monetize the US shale revolution is different. We are witnessing the opening act of what seems likely to be a bloody, drawn-out battle between Big Oil and Big Chemicals for control of the US natural gas supply.

"At stake are hundreds of billions of dollars in profit to companies from around the world that have invested in the US shale patch. A surge in US gas production has made the country self-sufficient in the fuel, and disrupted global economics and geopolitics–Russia is weaker, OPEC is worried, and Europe is suddenly replete with supply.

"But as a result, US wholesale gas prices are so low—now $3.92 per thousand cubic feet—that drillers say they are 'losing our shirts.' In hopes of capitalizing on far higher prices abroad, they would like to start exporting from the US in the form of liquefied natural gas (LNG). For instance, here is an application by BG, the British gas company, to export 20 billion cubic meters of LNG from Louisiana for 25 years.

"That pits them against US chemical and metals companies."

Read the entire story here.