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Shale boom creats new opportunities for U.S. energy companies to market fuels to China

页岩气繁荣让美能源企业获得中国商机.jpg 

Cheap natural gas flowing from the U.S. shale boom has created new opportunities for U.S. energy companies to market fuels to China.

美国页岩气繁荣所带来的廉价天然气为美国能源企业向中国出售燃料创造了新的机会。

China Petroleum & Chemical Corp., the country's largest oil refiner, said Friday that it signed a long-term contract to buy liquefied petroleum gas, or propane, from Phillips 66, a U.S. refiner that spun off from ConocoPhillips. China's state oil giant, known as Sinopec, didn't disclose the length, volume or value of the deal.

中国最大的炼油企业中国石油化工股份有限公司周五表示,已与美国Phillips 66签署了液化石油气长期购销合同。Phillips 66是从康菲石油公司分拆出来的炼油公司。中国石化并未披露合同期限、购买量和金额。

'There has been a substantial increase in propane supply due to the rapid development of shale gas in the U.S.,' Sinopec said, adding that the deal will help diversify its sources of propane, a cheap byproduct of oil refining and natural-gas extraction.

中国石化表示,随着美国页岩气的迅猛发展,丙烷供应量大幅增加。该公司还称,此次合作将帮助公司多元化丙烷供应渠道。丙烷是原油处理和天然气开采过程中产生的一种廉价副产品。

Sinopec's latest deal comes as more Chinese petrochemical companies begin sourcing propane from the U.S. to feed a wave of new chemical plants that can turn propane into more valuable propene, a building block for chemicals used in consumer products like paint, carpets and detergents.

中国石化签署上述购销合同之际,正值越来越多的中国石化企业开始从美国进口丙烷,来为一批新的化工厂提供原料。这些化工厂能将丙烷转化为价格更高的丙烯。丙烯是一种化工原料,用于生产油漆、地毯和清洁剂等消费产品。

Although Chinese companies can make their own propane, the process is more expensive because of the tighter supplies of crude oil and natural gas in China. U.S. propane prices have traditionally been too high to justify shipments to China, analysts say. However, the boom in U.S. natural-gas production resulting from shale-rock drilling technology has sent U.S. natural-gas prices tumbling to their lowest levels in years. Sinopec said the price of propane in the U.S. is 'more competitive' than in other markets because of rising supplies of U.S. shale gas and as propane produced from natural gas is of higher purity than propane produced from refining.

虽然中国企业自身也能生产丙烷,但由于中国原油和天然气供应较紧张,自己生产丙烷的成本更高。分析师们表示,过去由于美国丙烷的价格过高,因而从美国进口丙烷并不划算。不过,页岩钻井技术带来的美国天然气产量激增使该国天然气价格降至数年来的最低水平。中国石化表示,由于美国页岩气供应量增加,美国丙烷相对国际其他市场上的丙烷产品具有价格优势,且来自天然气分离装置的丙烷较炼厂丙烷纯度更高。

China imported U.S. propane for the first time in May, and shipped in a total of 111,000 metric tons from the U.S. last year, according to Chinese customs data. China imported another 74,000 tons of propane from the U.S. in January, the data shows.

中国海关数据显示,中国在去年5月份首次从美国进口丙烷,去年总计从美国进口了111,000吨丙烷。数据还显示,今年1月份,中国从美国进口了74,000吨丙烷。

China's first propane-to-propene plant came online in October, according to Li Li, director of industry research at consultancy ICIS C1 Energy. Five more plants are expected to be completed in 2014 with the combined capacity to process 3.45 million tons of propane a year, she said.

安迅思息旺能源的工业研究总监李莉表示,中国的首个丙烷制丙烯厂在去年10月份投产,还有五个工厂预计将在今年竣工,这些工厂的年处理能力合起来为345万吨。

2016-06-23

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