Unlocking Permian Value
Polyolefin resins are integral to human prosperity and are found in everyday applications ranging from food packaging and detergents, to automobiles, durable goods, and plastics. The olefins to make these polyolefin resins are produced primarily through the thermal cracking of hydrocarbons such as ethane, LPG, naphtha and complex feedstocks that boil in the gas oil boiling range. Each of these hydrocarbons stem from crude oil or natural gas. A location’s preferred feedstock depends on local economics and feedstock availability.
Ethane is slated to remain abundantly available as a low-cost petrochemical feedstock for olefin production in North America. Similarly, it is available at low cost in the Middle East. This provides the US and the Middle East with a comparative advantage when it comes to the manufacturing of low-cost polyethylene.
These two regions are expected to build more world-scale ethane crackers to meet increasing demand for polyethylene across both internal and overseas markets. Most of the demand growth for polyolefins will be in the Asia Pacific region. Here, limited ethane