06 March 2012 17:13 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS)--A gas-to-liquids (GTL) project in the US would have to contend with volatile methane prices, challenging the viability of such a capital-intensive plant, an executive for US-based Chevron Phillips Chemical said on Tuesday.
Fixed methane costs are the key to making a GTL plant viable, said Mark Lashier, executive vice president, olefins and polyolefins, for the US-based petrochemicals producer.
He spoke on the sidelines of the CERAWeek energy conference.
The US lacks such fixed prices, which would pose an obstacle to a GTL project, he said.
"You need long-termed fixed prices," he said.
The advent of shale gas in North America has increased supplies of light petrochemical feedstocks. As a result, several companies – including Chevron Phillips – plan to build plants that can take advantage of this cheaper source of feedstocks.
No company plans to build a GTL plant, which would use methane as a feedstock, although Sasol is studying the feasibility of such a project.CERAWeek ends on Friday.
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