26 March 2013 17:43 [Source: ICIS news]
SAN ANTONIO, Texas (ICIS)--The US “manufacturing renaissance” is structural rather than cyclical with cheap natural gas from the shale boom a significant factor, industry experts said on Tuesday.
“Certainly from a chemicals viewpoint it looks structural … the industry believes it is structural,” said IHS Chemical’s David Witte, during a panel discussion at the International Petrochemical Conference (IPC).
The shale revolution has led to “direct economic value”, Witte said, explaining how related job creation leads to other benefits further down the economic chain, such as more demand for finished goods.
Daniel Brusstar, of the CME Group, said: “ I think it’s structural and it’s going to continue.”
Referring to hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking" – the process used to extract gas from shale fields – Brusstar added: “ It’s structural – every year the technology keeps getting even better.”
Ford West, president of The Fertilizer Institute, explained how 70-90% of ammonia production is tied to the cost of natural gas.
“It’s really the cost of the natural gas that has the biggest impact on us,” he told delegates at the IPC.
Witte described the shale gas revolution as a “significant advancement” for the chemicals industry as a whole.
The panel discussion, entitled Future Uses of the American Shale Prosperity, was moderated by ICIS Insight editor Nigel Davis.
Hosted by the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM), the IPC continues through Tuesday.
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