Full Title: Ethane Storage and Distribution Hub in the United States
Author(s): United States Department of Energy
Publisher(s): United States Department of Energy
Publication Date: 11/2018
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The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) prepared this document at the request of Congress for a report on the feasibility of establishing an ethane storage and distribution hub in the United States. Large hubs for natural gas liquids (NGL), including ethane, are established in the United States, but the boom in crude oil and natural gas production from shale formations across the U.S. has transformed global energy markets and may present opportunities for industry to establish additional hubs. This significant increase in production has made the U.S. the largest
combined crude oil and natural gas producer in the world. In addition to these crude oil and natural gas resources, several of the shale plays provide valuable resources in the form of NGLs, including ethane, which are separated from raw natural gas stream at natural gas processing plants. These natural gas plant liquids (NGPL), and especially ethane, are key feedstocks for the petrochemical industry, used to produce compounds for making plastics and resins.
To produce this report, DOE gathered and analyzed information regarding ethane supply and related infrastructure. This analysis considered projected trends in ethane production over the coming decades, where changes in ethane production are projected to occur, the location and capacity of established ethane storage hubs in North America, and natural gas liquids pipelines, among other things. The analysis focused on identifying where significant growth in ethane production is projected and established ethane hubs do not exist.