The Motley Fool blog site has an insightful article today on ethane, “the stranded commodity” that, according to the article, won’t be stranded for long! What does that have to do with Marcellus and Utica Shale gas drilling? Everything, as it turns out.
As explained in the article, ethane is produced from natural gas drilling in “wet gas” areas—mostly southwestern PA, eastern OH, and the northern panhandle of WV. Ethane, as MDN has explained countless times (but there’s always new readers!) can be “cracked” into ethylene, the raw material or “feedstock” used by chemical manufacturers to make plastics and products like tires and antifreeze. But there’s one problem with the ethane coming from the Marcellus and Utica Shale: it currently costs too much to transport it to the Gulf Coast and other points where it can be converted.
According to the author of the article, that will all change soon.
How? Several ethane pipelines are under construction, and of course Shell’s mighty ethane cracker plant.
Click to read the full article, which of course has tips on where you might want to invest in order to take advantage of this “stranded commodity.”
*Motley Fool (Jun 29, 2012) – This Stranded Commodity is About to be Rescued