US fatty alcohol demand to rise on shale phenomenon

26 April 2012 16:05  [Source: ICIS news]

JERSEY CITY, New Jersey (ICIS)--US fatty alcohol demand is expected to rise on the shale gas phenomenon, according to an industry executive at a conference that ends on Thursday.

 “There are huge opportunities for surfactants in the oil field,” said Martin Herrington, president, North America, of IP Specialties.

Fatty alcohols are feedstocks for many surfactants used in drilling applications, which are increasing in the US because of the upswing in activity driven by the shale oil and gas phenomenon.

“We’re amazed at what is going on in shale in the US,” Herrington said.

Managing cost volatility and being flexible to alternative feedstocks will be part of the challenges fatty alcohol and surfactant suppliers will face as the new demand opens, he said on Wednesday at the 2nd ICIS World Surfactants Conference in Jersey City.

Natural alcohols are derived from vegetable oils, while synthetics are made from chemical routes using either ethylene natural gas in a gas-to-liquids (GTL) process.

Natural alcohol producers include BASF, Wilmar and VVF, while synthetics are produced by Shell and Sasol.

By: Judith Taylor
+1 713 525 2653

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