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Shale May Spur $30 Billion of Chemical Plants, Lashier Says

Chevron Phillips Chemical Co. said its industry may spend $30 billion to build U.S. factories that convert natural gas into plastics because shale gas has made American production the cheapest outside the Middle East.

Output from shale formations will yield enough natural-gas liquids such as ethane to support about five new plants that produce ethylene and related plastics, said Mark Lashier, an executive vice president at Chevron Phillips. Each facility will cost $5 billion to $6 billion and will be built over more than a decade, he said today in an interview in Houston.