29 March 2011 00:27 [Source: ICIS news]
SAN ANTONIO, Texas (ICIS)--If Peter Huntsman were “king for a day”, he would declare the US Marcellus Shale natural gas reserves a national treasure to prevent it from being squandered, the chemicals producer chief executive said on Monday.
Speaking on the sidelines of the 36th annual International Petrochemical Conference (IPC), Huntsman said that the lack of a comprehensive national policy on the development and use of shale gas could lead to the reserves being frittered away with little lasting value to the US.
US natural gas consumption has been flat for the past 10 years, he said, and the only area of growth has been natural gas exports.
Under the current circumstances, “All this shale gas, how does this provide value to our country? It allows us to export more natural gas overseas - somebody else can take that and use it to their industrial advantage.”
He continued, “I’m not one to say the government should come in and regulate natural gas, but I will say would it make sense to have a policy where we taxed exported gas.”
“We’ve got this precious resource where five years ago we were saying we’re all doomed and the [US] chemical industry was going down the tubes because we don’t have competitive raw materials. Now all the sudden we have it and what are we doing about it? We’re exporting it," he said.
Huntsman produces a wide range of products including methyl di-p-phenylene isocyanate (MDI) and titanium dioxide (TiO2).
Sponsored by the National Petrochemical & Refiners Association (NPRA), the IPC runs through Tuesday.
Paul Hodges studies key influencers shaping the chemical industry in Chemicals and the Economy
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