Ethane Held 45% of Natural Gas Liquids Market in 2015

Reportlinker Review is a series of posts featuring Innovations, Social and Economic Megatrends to understand the World of Tomorrow. Each post is illustrated with statistics for one industry.

Reportlinker’s Ethane Industry Review in a nutshell

  • Middle East remains top natural gas liquids producer
  • Phillips 66 to purchase natural gas liquids logistics system from Chevron
  • Move comes days after company sold Irish refinery

In 2015, ethane held a 45% market share in the natural gas liquids market while the Middle East remained the top provider.

The natural gas liquids market is divided into five segments: ethane, propane, normal butane, isobutene, and pentanes plus.  While ethane held 45%, propane held more than 20% and isobutene, the smallest segment, held less than 10%. Butane and pentanes plus held the remainder.

The Middle East remained the world’s largest producer, holding a 35% global market share followed by North America at 30%.

The market’s growth is hindered by the increasing use of natural gas alternatives.

Last month, Phillips 66 Partners announced it had purchased a natural gas liquids logistics system from Chevron Corp., one of the largest global publicly traded oil and gas companies, to expand its presence in Louisiana.

Phillips 66 Partners is a limited partnership which owns, operates, develops and acquires primarily crude oil, natural gas liquids and refined petroleum product assets and infrastructure.

The amount of the deal has not been released, but it will be financed with cash and credit.    Before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization from the assets, the acquisition is expected to earn $25 million in 2017, Phillips 66 Partners said.

The deal includes the TENDS Pipeline System, spanning about 300 miles, which connects to third-party fractionators, a petrochemical plant and refineries; the VP Pipeline/EP Pipeline, spanning about 200 miles, which carries raw natural gas liquids from a third-party natural gas processing plant to pipeline and fractionation infrastructure; and the Sorrento Cavern, a salt dome cavern with a natural gas liquids storage capacity of approximately 1.5 million barrels.


Irish Refinery

The move came days after Phillips 66 agreed to sell its Cork, Ireland, oil refinery to Canada’s Irving Oil.   The refinery supplies up to 40% of the main products on the market and is the only refinery on the Irish isle.

Financial deals were not released.

The Louisiana deal is expected to close during the fourth quarter, pending regulatory approval.


“We are committed to a growth strategy that includes dropdowns from our sponsor, Phillips 66; organic projects; and third-party acquisitions,” Tim Taylor, Phillips 66 Partners president, said in a release. “This acquisition will expand the partnership’s NGL footprint into the Louisiana market. The assets are strategically located and connect offshore production, local refineries and petrochemical facilities in south Louisiana while providing significant opportunities for fee-based growth.”


Key Statistics – Global Gas Market (source: Visiongain)

  • In 2014, the oil and gas pipelines market was valued at $55 billion globally. That year, 10,812 kilometers of new pipelines were laid.
  • In 2014, the desalination market was worth $3.9 billion globally.
  • In 2015, the CAPEX shale (tight) oil market was valued at $81.1 billon globally.
  • In 2016, the gas processing infrastructure market is forecasted to be worth $12.88 billon globally.