Chemical Company Execs Bet on Unconventional Gas

By Jonathan Katz, contributing editor

Mar 27, 2014

Executives from some of the world’s largest petrochemical companies will address the impact that unconventional gas is having on the industry at this week’s IHS World Petrochemical Conference in Houston.

"The availability of a steady supply of low-cost unconventional feedstocks has created significant investment opportunities in North American projects, while at the same time, China is aggressively advancing a coal-to-chemicals strategy that will increase its overall self-sufficiency in key basic chemicals, including ethylene and propylene,” said Dave Witte, general manager of IHS Chemical and senior vice president at IHS.

Development of these resources must be balanced with a steady pace of new investments in the Middle East, Witte says.

“The mix and balance of these investments will be a key driver of change across the global petrochemical industry during the next five years,” he says.

Witte told the Houston Business Journal that he expects the U.S. will ship many of its new chemical products to China. Some of these chemicals being shipped to China will be used to produce items such as shoes, and then shipped back to consumers in the U.S."

Meanwhile, some of the new chemicals produced domestically will remain in the U.S. for electronics manufacturing, the Journal reports.