Ethane, one of the natural gas liquids (NGLs), is a byproduct of natural gas production. Ethane is used as petrochemical feedstock and is key in making polyethylene—plastic. Ethane is also used in the production of products like antifreeze and detergents.

Ethane prices in the U.S. have dropped with the abundance of gas coming out of the U.S. shale basins. The oversupply has led domestic ethane to be rejected in recent years—i.e., forcing natural gas producers to sell ethane at fuel value, rather than as a petrochemical feedstock. But European ...


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