NPRA ’11: ExxonMobil to explore US debottlenecking - president

27 March 2011 23:22  [Source: ICIS news]

SAN ANTONIO, Texas (ICIS)--US-based ExxonMobil Chemical will seek “normal” debottlenecking opportunities in its US petrochemical operations versus building a new cracker, its president said on Sunday.

“We would embark on normal debottlenecking in the US,” said company president Stephen Pryor on the sidelines of the International Petrochemical Conference (IPC).

“We invest selectively in advantaged projects, but never build new capacity because of demand,” he added.

While the advent of US shale gas has given US producers a cost advantage today, the long-term impact is unclear, he noted.

“We are not a great proponent of forecasting cycles. No-one was predicting the impact of shale gas just a few years ago. That’s why we take a long-term approach where we seek to outperform in good times and in bad,” said Pryor.

“There is lots of focus on revenues out there, but chasing revenues is vanity. Reality is sustained returns to our shareholders,” he added.

Pryor said the key to success is feedstock flexibility.

“The question is not whether a project will be cost advantaged in the next three years, but ‘will it be attractive in the next 20-30 years?’” he said.

“When you know the market is growing in China, you have to take into account building in the US with US costs, logistics issues and the ability to compete with local China production. And Chinese producers may one day also use unconventional feedstocks,” Pryor added.

Hosted by the National Petrochemical & Refiners Association (NPRA), the IPC continues through Tuesday.

For more on ExxonMobil Chemical visit ICIS company intelligence


By: Joseph Chang
+1 713 525 2653



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