EPCA ’13: Hydrochloric acid demand falls on slow US fracking growth

06 October 2013 17:33  [Source: ICIS news]

BERLIN (ICIS)--Disappointing growth in hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, of shale oil and gas wells in the US has led to a slowdown in demand for hydrochloric acid, an executive with chlor-alkali producer Olin said on Sunday.

“Last year, we saw the high demand from the fracking operations pushing up the demand for hydrochloric acid,” said Rene Whigham, director and general manager for bleach with the US-based company. “I don’t think the operations with the fracking has grown as fast as what people thought. So I think this year, comparatively speaking, it’s down a little bit.”

Whigham was speaking on the sidelines of the 47th annual European Petrochemical Association (EPCA) meeting.

Hydrochloric acid is used in fracking to dissolve calcium carbonate, or limestone, to get more of the oil or gas bleached from the well, Whigham said.

In July, Olin said its Q2 sales volumes of hydrochloric acid declined by 2% year on year.

The EPCA meeting runs from 5-9 October.

By: Jeremy Pafford
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