Canada’s NOVA uses first Bakken ethane at Alberta cracking complex

13 June 2014 15:41 Source:ICIS News

TORONTO (ICIS)--NOVA Chemicals has begun using the first barrels of ethane from North Dakota’s Bakken shale region at its cracking complex in Joffre, north of Calgary in Alberta province, the Canada-based petrochemicals firm said on Friday.

The ethane was produced at a processing plant in Tioga, North Dakota, and shipped across the border into Alberta via the Vantage Pipeline, which connects to the Alberta Ethane Gathering System (AEGS). NOVA is the contract operator of both AEGS and  Vantage.

Vantage has an initial design capacity of 40,000 bbl/day but is expandable to more than 60,000 bbl/day, "a volume that reflects more than 20% of Alberta’s existing installed ethylene production capacity," NOVA said.

Ethane extracted from associated gas produced from the Bakken shale region is expected to be a growing and stable feedstock supply source for Alberta's petrochemical industry, the company added.

"The introduction of Bakken shale-based ethane into the feedstock diet at Joffre marks an important milestone in the diversification of our ethane sources for the region and our NOVA 2020 strategy to capitalize on North American demand," said NOVA’s acting CEO Todd Karran.

"The new supply sources we recently began to use, together with those currently in development, should enable us to run our existing polyethylene (PE) plants at full capacity, as well as support our PE1 Expansion project in Joffre and position us well for potential further growth," Karran added.

By Stefan Baumgarten