U.S. natural gas development is benefitting chemistry industry

Source: Akron Beacon Journal

From the American Chemistry Council today:


WASHINGTON (March 17, 2015) – At a briefing held today by the Congressional Natural Gas Caucus, ExxonMobil Chemical Company Senior Vice President Matthew Aguiar explained how domestic natural gas development is enabling growth in manufacturing investment and jobs, and the chemistry industry’s leading role.

The shale gas production boom has made America one of the world’s lowest-cost producers of basic petrochemicals, with a decisive competitive advantage in global markets. As a result, 225 chemical industry projects – new facilities, expansions and restarts – valued at $137 billion are planned or have begun. They could generate $93 billion per year in increased chemical industry output and at least 665,000 permanent new jobs by 2023. More than 60 percent of the new investment is by firms based abroad.

Mr. Aguiar pointed to ExxonMobil’s project in Baytown, Texas as a prime example. “When complete, the expansion will have created 10,000 construction jobs, including carpenters, electricians, welders, ironworkers, you name it,” he said. “All the new activity is expected to add 4,000 new, permanent local jobs, including 350 positions at ExxonMobil plants.”

Natural gas production benefits U.S. trade. “U.S. manufacturers will double their exports of plastics and other chemical products from 2014 to 2030,” Mr. Aguiar said. A report from Nexant, Inc. sponsored by ACC, found that gross exports of chemical products, including plastics, linked to plentiful and affordable natural gas could grow from $60 billion in 2014 to $123 billion by 2030.

Today’s briefing affirms that shale gas production is creating historic opportunities for our country, but our policies lag behind. The House energy plan released by Chairman Upton in February will modernize America’s energy strategy. With a focus on infrastructure, workforce development and energy savings, it addresses shortcomings in the current system and will help ensure manufacturers can continue to invest and hire in the United States.