Harvey’s Made the World’s Most Important Chemical a Rare Commodity

Few Americans care about ethylene. Many have probably never heard of it.

As it turns out, this colorless, flammable gas is arguably the most important petrochemical on the planet — and much of it comes from the hurricane-stricken Gulf Coast. Ethylene is one of the big reasons the damage wroughtby Hurricane Harvey in the chemical communities along the Gulf is likely to ripple through U.S. manufacturing of essential items from milk jugs to mattresses.

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  • bill smith

    Ethylene is the preferred product of anti-oil activists… it’s used to make their signs, loafers, water bottles, electric car parts, anoraks, etc…

    • Surele Surele

      was about to start a list of oil related products anti-oilers (and let’s be honest, all of us. but we like oil) use. thank you.

      • bill smith

        Considering the energy used to produce any random product, and the means to transport it to its final destination, virtually everything contains oil (or natural gas, coal, etc…). A list of things that do not contain oil would be much easier as it would be a very short list.

  • favill

    Perhaps this is an opportunity for Canada to step in a take some market share. My bad…the enviro kooks will stop it at the planning level. It’s almost like businesses should just clear some land and set up before anybody knows what’s going on.

    • The Butterfly

      It would take 175 years for anything to get past the never-ending environmental assessments.

    • Exile1981

      We have 3 units in Alberta that make it already. 2 in Red Deer and one outside Edmonton.

      • favill

        Then CRANK THEM UP, BABY!!! This kind of opportunity comes once in a life time….Get AB working again….Ooops my bad, forgot about Notley.

        • Exile1981

          Actually I think methanex in medicine hat has been trying to get permision to build a unit beside their existing facility since 2014. Not sure if its going ahead or if its under construction or what.

          • favill

            THREE FRIGGIN’ YEARS!!! Ludicrous! Lost jobs, lost tax revenue, lost capital, lost investment opportunity, lost, lost, lost.

          • Exile1981

            I just looked it up. Methanex shelved the project when Notley won.

            So thats a 1 billion dollar project shelved they built in Chile instead. They said it was the carbon tax threat and the royalty review that made them build it elsewhere.

            My employer announced all 3 new facilities on the books have been ‘shelved’ because of carbon tax and regulatory climate.

  • andycanuck

    Invest in glass!!!

  • Exile1981

    It’s turned into anti-freeze and is the feed stock for plastics. Dow just sold their plant in red deer to a middle east government. With the massive price spike they’ll regret that.

  • Spatchcocked

    I had a black girlfriend….her name was Ethylene…she in trouble ?

  • tom_billesley

    Shale gas crackers in the United States can produce ethylene at less than half the cost of oil-based naphtha-fed crackers.
    As a result, in recent years some production facilities in Europe have shut down e.g. the Carling plant at Strasbourg in France. That might have been a bit premature.
    http://uk.reuters.com/article/france-petrochemicals-total/total-to-shut-ethylene-unit-at-french-petrochemical-plant-unions-idUKL6N0GZ3AB20130903

    • Exile1981

      All the Alberta units are natural gas fed not oil fed.

  • Spatchcocked

    Oh Ethylene why can’t you be true
    Oh Ethylene why can’t you be true
    You done started back doing the things you used to do.