Sabic looks to tap into US shale gas

By On November 29, 2012 5:07 am

By Camilla Hall in Dubai and Ed Crooks in New York

Sabic lab worker

Saudi Basic Industries Corp., the world’s largest petrochemical maker by market capitalisation, is in talks about a possible investment in the US to take advantage of cheap shale gas, its chief executive said.

“We are evaluating opportunities in the US in this area,” Mohamed al-Mady, Sabic’s chief executive, said in an interview. “We’d like to start with one plant, just to get ourselves in the region.”

The abundant supplies created by the US shale gas boom are challenging the competitive advantage of the hydrocarbon-rich Gulf, where rapidly growing domestic consumption is a threat to the future availability of oil and gas.

In the US, Dow ChemicalConocoPhillipsChevron,Royal Dutch Shell and LyondellBasell are among the companies that are expanding or looking at expanding their petrochemical capacity to take advantage of cheap gas and natural gas liquids such as ethane, which are used as feedstocks.

The competitive advantage has shifted sharply since five years ago, when it appeared that global petrochemical production would be increasingly concentrated in the Middle East, to take advantage of low-cost feedstocks, or in Asia. Read More Here.