Saudi petrochemical rise local Ethane output and exports on Asian demand

Jul 11, 2011 12:00 AM

Saudi Arabia, boosted petrochemical exports in the 1st 2 months of 2011 on rising demand from Asia and increased local production of ethane, a feedstock.

The country shipped 4.65 mm tons of petrochemicals from its ports in January and February 2011, up 6.8 % from 4.35 mm a year earlier, Saudi Ports Authority said on its website.

Saudi Arabia increased crude output by 300,000 bpd to 8.7 mm in February, according to a Bloomberg survey of producers, analysts and oil companies.
“The higher oil production results in an increased associated gas production, which should partly alleviate fear of ethane shortage,” al Rajhi Capital said in a report. Ethane accounted for 73 % of the country’s feedstock through 2007, according to the report.

Saudi Aramco plans to increase its drilling rigs by 28 % in 2011, allowing for more natural gas to be extracted, the investment bank said. Demand from countries including China and India should also boost petrochemical makers’ 1st-quarter results.

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