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Yes. "Molecules of U.S. freedom" is a thing now.

Let freedom ring!

"With the U.S. in another year of record-setting natural gas production, I am pleased that the Department of Energy is doing what it can to promote an efficient regulatory system that allows for molecules of U.S. freedom to be exported to the world."

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Enterprise to extend ethylene pipeline system to South Texas coast

Enterprise Products Partners will extend its new Houston-area ethylene pipeline system south to the middle of the Texas coast, the company said Tuesday.


Enterprise said the 90-mile Baymark pipeline would originate in Bayport near the mouth of the Houston Ship Channel and end in Markham, about 39 miles east of Formosa Plastics' petrochemical complex in Point Comfort. The project is a joint venture of Enterprise and Lavaca Pipe Line Co., a Formosa Plastics subsidiary.

"The US petrochemical industry is experiencing unprecedented growth" with production of ethylene expected to exceed 45 million mt/year by 2025, Enterprise CEO Jim Teague said in a statement.

The Baymark project will connect ethylene producers and buyers to Enterprise's storage hub in Mont Belvieu east of Houston "as well as linking them to growing domestic and international markets," he said.

Formosa is building a 1.25 million mt/year cracker and two polyethylene plants with a combined capacity of 800,000 mt/year, all slated to start up in the second half of 2019. Those plants are among eight crackers and 13 PE plants starting up in Texas and Louisiana from 2017 through this year in the first wave of more than $200 billion in new petrochemical infrastructure to emerge from cheap ethane unearthed by the US natural gas shale boom.

More projects are slated to start up or planned in second and third waves from 2020 and beyond, including a petrochemical complex 125 miles west of Markham near Corpus Christi. That joint venture planned by ExxonMobil and Sabic will include a 1.8 million mt/year ethylene plant.

Enterprise is building a 1 million mt/year ethylene export terminal at Morgan's Point on the ship channel, next to the company's ethane export facility, that is expected to start up its first phase in the fourth quarter of this year, followed by full service with on-site refrigerated storage a year later.

The company also is converting an ethane storage cavern at its Mont Belvieu natural gas liquids hub to hold 272,155 mt of ethylene, which the company said Monday was expected to be completed in the third quarter of this year. An ethylene pipeline linking Enterprise's Mont Belvieu operations to Morgan's Point also is slated to start up in Q4, followed by the startup in the q3 2020 of a second leg linking Morgan's Point to Bayport. The Baymark pipeline would extend that 24-mile, bidirectional system.

The US currently has one ethylene export terminal, a 300,000 mt/year facility deep in the ship channel operated by Targa Resources and contracted to Mitsubishi Chemical.



Despite global push to reduce plastic use, demand impact for oil and other feedstocks remains unaffected

A movement to reduce plastic use has led to bans worldwide on shopping bags, straws and other single-use items, but no noticeable impact on demand for crude oil and other feedstocks used to make plastic.

Petrochemical and plastic demand is forecast to increase at as much as four times the rate of demand for transportation fuels and petrochemicals will account for roughly 30% of global oil demand over the next five years, according to the International Energy Agency.

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