SECOND-HALF 2007: US olefins see improving feed economics, demand

Although the US hurricane season of 2007 was essentially a non-event for the petrochemical and refining industries at large, Hurricane Humberto disrupted operations for a few weeks for ethylene producers in the Beaumont-Port Arthur, Tex., area during mid-September to early October. The important story for second-half 2007 was not Hurricane Humberto, however, but the persistent strength in demand for ethane.Specifically, feedstock economics for ethane remained favorable and feedstock demand for ethane consistently averaged 47-48% of fresh feed during third-quarter 2007 and 48-51% during fourth-quarter 2007. The persistent strength in ethane demand limited coproducts yields of propylene and...

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