Aramco reducing ethane in petrochemical feedstock

By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, Jan. 3 -- Saudi Aramco expects to reduce the proportion of ethane in petrochemical feedstock to 60% by the end of the decade, down from 100% during the 1980s, said Khalid A. Al-Falih, the company's industrial relations senior vice-president.

Speaking during a Gulf Petrochemical and Chemical Association Forum in Dubai late last month, al-Falih discussed evolving regional feedstock parameters.

Al-Falih said associated gas has an ethane content of 18-20% while nonassociated gas has an ethane content of 4-6%. Saudi Aramco's incremental gas production capacity is not expected to yield significant quantities of associated gas.

Industry has developed effective feedstock with lower ethane content by using propane and butane. Ethane accounted for 100% of regional petrochemical feedstock from the 1980s through 1990, he said. In 1992, Arabian Petrochemical Co. mixed propane with ethane as a cracker feedstock.

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