Enterprise plans ethylene export terminal, Oil prices to average $50/bbl, Mitsubishi Gas announces $60 m project

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Enterprise intends to build an ethylene export terminal along the Port of Houston. Photo: Port of Houston

Enterprise plans ethylene export terminal in Texas

Enterprise Products and Navigator Holdings signed a letter of intent to jointly develop an ethylene marine export terminal on the Houston Ship Channel.

If the two companies pursue the project, Enterprise would manage the construction, operations and commercial activities of the proposed terminal, which would be located at Enterprise’s Morgan’s Point complex.

Enterprise’s Morgan’s Point facility has a 45-foot draft and includes the company’s ethane marine export terminal, the world’s largest.

Navigator Gas already has 14 ethylene-capable vessels that provide a virtual pipeline to deliver ethylene to consuming customers.

The ethylene export terminal would be connected to Enterprise’s high-capacity ethylene salt dome storage and ethylene pipeline system, which is currently under construction.

Enterprise’s ethylene storage facility will have approximately 600 million pounds of capacity with an injection/withdrawal rate of 210,000 pounds per hour expandable to 420,000 pounds per hour.

The companies did not reveal the cost or timeline of the project.

Oil prices expected to average about $50/barrel through 2018

Image Source: Energy Information Administration

Brent crude oil spot prices are forecasted to average $51/barrel in 2017 and $52/barrel in 2018, according to a new energy outlook published by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) in July.

Crude oil prices reached their lowest year-to-date levels in late June. Prices fell after the EIA reported builds in total U.S. crude oil and petroleum products inventories that were above the five-year average during the first half of June. The build in total U.S. petroleum inventories for the week ending June 2 was the largest for any week since 2008.

The EIA forecasts total U.S. crude oil production to average 9.3 million barrels/day in 2017, up 0.5 million barrels/day from 2016. In 2018, crude oil production is forecast to rise to an average of 9.9 million barrels/day. If achieved, 2018 production would be the highest annual average on record, surpassing the previous record of 9.6 million barrels/days set in 1970.

Daily and monthly average prices could vary from the EIA forecast because global economic developments and geopolitical events in the coming months have the potential to push oil prices higher or lower, the EIA said.

For example, EIA's forecast for the average West Texas Intermediate (WTI) price in October 2017 is $48/barrel, while the options markets indicate an expected range of WTI prices from $36/barrel up to $60/barrel based on the recent prices of futures and options contracts for October 2017 delivery.

PTTGC America purchases land for proposed Ohio cracker

The site selection is in Mead Township on the west side of the Ohio River. Image: PTTGC America

The U.S. subsidiary of PTT Global Chemical (PTTGC America) has selected a site in Mead Township along the Ohio River for the possible construction of a world-scale ethane cracker.

PTTGC America has exercised a purchase option on the 168-acre property in Belmont County, Ohio, for a proposed ethane cracker that it expects to make a financial investment decision (FID) on later this year, the company said.

PTTGC America is investing $100 million to conduct detailed front-end engineering design for the petrochemical complex.

Contracts have been signed by Fluor Corporation and Bechtel Enterprises Holding, two world-class engineering, procurement and construction firms that will separately conduct their respective front-end engineering design work.

Mitsubishi Gas Chemical plans $60 m U.S. project

Photo: Mitsubishi Gas Chemical

Mitsubishi Gas Chemical plans to build new hydrogen peroxide production facilities in Oregon and Texas by 2019. The company said the endeavor will likely cost $60 million and increase its annual output capacity by 70,000 tonnes.

Super-pure hydrogen peroxide is used primarily as a cleaning, etching and abrading agent in semiconductor wafer and device manufacturing processes.

The increasing miniaturization of semiconductors in recent years has been generating growing demand for a higher-quality chemical solution.

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