Could chemicals benefit from European shale gas?
Shale gas has helped push the price of US natural gas and ethane to historically low levels, increasing the competitiveness of the chemical industry there. Until now it has seemed that European chemical producers have developed a structural feedstock disadvantage as it relies mainly on naphtha which is tied to oil prices.
Now, according to Steelguru.com, shale deposits rich in gas have been discovered in many parts of Europe including France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.
According to this article, as a result of the discoveries LNG rich nations such as Qatar and UAE have already begun re-evaluating options of exporting gas to some of its gas strapped neighboring countries.
It adds: "Looking at the regional LNG market, the fact we are currently in the middle of a global economic downturn coupled with the emergence of the unconventional gas supply and new LNG capacity coming on-stream, it is likely that there will be a reduction in project activity in the LNG sector over the coming year.
North America has been the leader in developing and producing shale gas and the great economic success of the Barnett Shale field in Texas has spurred the search for other sources of shale gas across both the US and Canada. Within the Middle East region, shale reserves exist in Jordan and Syria, but the extent to which the deposits will have on the overall gas balance will largely depend on the speed at which exploration efforts advance."
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