How Can Ohio Benefit From "Downstream" Benefits of Shale Boom?

From Crain's Cleveland Business:
Much less understood, but perhaps no less important, are the downstream positive impacts of shale gas on the specialty chemical and polymer industries. These sectors already have a large economic stake in the region, but the shale gas growth, particularly the presence of natural gas liquids (NGLs) in the Utica Shale, have the potential to significantly accelerate the growth and improve the global competitiveness of Ohio's specialty chemical and polymer industries. In fact, the energy and chemical industries are anchor industries in Ohio, so any developments that benefit both of them should receive strong support statewide. 

Purchased raw materials (feed stock) and purchased energy (gas & electricity) are two of the largest cost items for chemical companies, and low-priced, locally sourced natural gas addresses both of those factors. Natural gas liquids (ethane, propane and butane) are crucial feed stocks for high value added products of the chemical industry. As a result, U.S. manufacturing and the chemical industry were hit hard by high natural gas prices between 2004 and 2008. Prices started to fall dramatically as supplies from shale formations began to be realized and understood. Now, low-priced natural gas and ethane from natural gas liquids (NGLs) have the potential to significantly improve the global competiveness of Ohio's chemical companies. The growing supply is also helping to keep Ohio's energy costs among the most competitive in the country.
Read the rest here.

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