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Dow is “very excited” about opportunities for increased production and exports

June 09/2011

(ICIS) -- New and abundant supplies of shale gas have triggered the largest petrochemical investments seen in North America in a generation, a top Dow Chemical official said on Wednesday, and will drive a surge in jobs, domestic business and exports.


Seth Roberts, director of energy and climate change policy at Midland, Michigan-based Dow, told a conference on the impact of shale gas for North America that Dow is “very excited” about opportunities for increased production and exports based on what appears to be a long-term prospect for natural gas feedstock supplies.


US petrochemical producers and downstream chemical makers are heavily dependent on natural gas as both a feedstock and power supply, and much of US general manufacturing relies on gas for production energy as well.


With domestic US natural gas prices forecast to hold in the range of USD 4-5/MMBtu into 2012 and beyond, US chemical manufacturers enjoy a significant feedstock cost advantage over most other countries’ chemical sectors that are dependent on higher-priced naphtha derived from increasingly costly crude oil. Roberts said that the huge new resources represented in growing shale gas developments “could lead to what many are calling a renaissance in the American chemicals industry”.


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