Shale Gas Production Fuels U.S. Chemical Manufacturing Success

  Shale Gas Production Fuels U.S. Chemical Manufacturing Success

              Abundant supplies give companies competitive edge

Business Wire

HOUSTON -- November 12, 2012

Abundant, affordable domestic natural gas resources have provided the U.S.
petrochemical industry with a substantial competitive advantage, a senior
ExxonMobil Chemical Company executive said last week.

Lynne Lachenmyer, senior vice president, ExxonMobil Chemical Company, said
that increased natural ga ...

Lynne Lachenmyer, senior vice president, ExxonMobil Chemical Company, said
that increased natural gas production is revitalizing the U.S. petrochemical
industry. (Photo: Business Wire)

In a presentation at the Shale Petrochemical Manufacturing Summit at
Philadelphia’s HUB Cira Centre, Lynne Lachenmyer, senior vice president,
ExxonMobil Chemical Company, said that increased natural gas production is
revitalizing the U.S. petrochemical industry.

“The ability to tap into vast shale resources right here in the U.S. is an
opportunity that we have to develop. We are in the middle of an industry in
transformation,” she said. Relatively low natural gas prices are providing
U.S.-based chemical manufacturers with an advantage over competitors in other
countries that rely on more expensive feedstocks and energy for their

Lachenmyer said, “Natural gas from resources such as the Marcellus shale in
Pennsylvania presents a unique opportunity to revitalize the U.S. economy, and
the petrochemical industry is part of that. It is an opportunity to grow our
economy, create new jobs, and capture early mover advantage to increase U.S.
manufacturing competitiveness.”

Shale gas and associated liquids produced throughout the country can support
all the major chemical-producing regions, including the U.S. Gulf Coast, which
today serves as a major hub of production of key chemical building blocks,
such as ethylene.

“Looking back a couple of decades, chemicals were among our nation’s top
exports,” Lachenmyer said. “But the situation changed and we were on the verge
of becoming a net importer. Now the industry is back on the path of
competitively serving the growth markets of Asia and other locations through

With the additional lower-cost ethane available in North America, relative to
naphtha and other liquid feeds, steam crackers in North America are running
these lighter feed slates to produce ethylene at a significant cost advantage,
Lachenmyer said.

“In the last decade, new integrated refining-chemical complexes, principally
in Asia or the Middle East, have tapped into labor and logistical advantages,”
she noted. “Today unconventional gas growth in North America is providing the
next major source of advantage via affordable energy and feedstock from
natural gas and ethane. For the first time in a decade, producers in North
America have announced expansions in the form of debottlenecks and new steam

ExxonMobil Chemical has filed permit applications for a petrochemical
expansion at its Baytown Olefins Plant in Texas where it plans to add an
ethane cracker. The company also plans to add premium polyethylene facilities
at the nearby Mont Belvieu Plastics Plant. It will make a final investment
decision following completion of these reviews and approvals.

If developed, it is estimated that the project would create about 10,000
construction jobs and about 350 permanent jobs would be added to the company’s
workforce of 6,500 the Baytown area. The proposed project would also have a
multiplier effect and create an additional 3,700 jobs in the local community.

“The proposed investment reflects ExxonMobil’s continued confidence in the
natural-gas driven revitalization of the U.S. chemical industry,” Lachenmyer
said. “The natural gas revolution in the U.S., driven by industry innovation,
is enabling U.S. chemical manufacturers such as ExxonMobil to invest in North
America, create thousands of U.S. jobs and increase sales to domestic and
global markets.”

About ExxonMobil Chemical

ExxonMobil Chemical is one of the world’s premier petrochemical companies with
manufacturing, technology, and marketing operations around the world. The
company delivers a broad portfolio of products and solutions efficiently and
responsibly, with a commitment to create outstanding customer and shareholder
value. ExxonMobil Chemical endorses the principles of sustainable development,
including the need to balance economic growth, social development and
environmental considerations.

To learn more, visit

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Margaret Ross, 281-870-6607
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