Editorial Comment

Adrienne Blume, Managing Editor

A. Blume, Editor

As discussed in the HPI Market Data 2019 report, published in November by Gas Processing & LNG’s sister publication, Hydrocarbon Processing, rising propane and ethane supplies in the US have been enabled by greater production of shale gas. However, this scenario poses infrastructure and market challenges. For example, ethane produced in the Marcellus shale in the US Northeast is presently isolated from petrochemical markets on the US Gulf Coast. 

However, India could provide a valuable outlet for US ethane exports. India has an ethylene capacity of approximately 5.7 metric MMt, most of which is naphtha-based and refinery-integrated. The country’s ethane import infrastructure needs to be expanded and modernized on the east coast to accommodate more imports.

Over the medium term, NGL is expected to grow faster than any other commodity group in the medium term. Over the next two decades, the North American midstream sector is poised to experience considerable expansion, with capacity additions from Canada to the US Gulf Coast and greater pipeline shipments for LNG exports and marine transport. 

Midstream companies will benefit from greater production management, as fuel production and distribution processes will become more automated. Major midstream companies with financial influence and large asset portfolios are poised to benefit greatly from this growth cycle, while niche opportunities will remain for smaller, specialized midstream firms. An expanded analysis is available in the HPI Market Data2019 report. GP


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