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It’s Not Supposed To Be That Way – NGL Prices and Petchem Margins In a Low Crude Price World

Massive infrastructure investments in petrochemical steam crackers and export terminals for propane, butane and ethane are in the works.  But the market has changed since the investment decisions for many of these facilities were made.  Instead of the low ethane prices the petrochemical market is enjoying today (about 19 cents/Gal), prices could ramp up to 50 cents/Gal by 2020 as new steam crackers and ethane export facilities come online.  If ethane prices increase and crude oil prices remain below $65/bbl, the feedstock cost advantage of ethane versus naphtha that the new petrochemical facilities expected likely would not materialize.  Lower crude oil prices would also cap production growth of all NGLs, limiting the volumes to be exported through the new terminals.  Today we review Part 2 of our Drill Down Report on NGL Infrastructure.

via RBN Energy – Accelerating energy market analytics through collaboration, networking and alliances