With the Marcellus and Utica shale ethane situation under control for the moment, propane is becoming the next natural gas liquid (NGL) to trouble producers in Appalachia.
"Propane is something that I've been growing more and more concerned about as we move forward," Kristen Holmquist, manager of natural gas liquids for Bentek Energy Inc., said at the Hart Energy Marcellus Midstream Conference and Exhibition in Pittsburgh.
As producers develop the liquids-rich Marcellus and Utica, Bentek expects propane production from the Northeast to increase to about 200,000 b/d by 2020. Unlike ethane, propane does have an existing market in the region -- mainly for home heating and appliances -- but because propane is more expensive than other NGLs on an energy-equivalent basis, demand will likely remain at 180,000 b/d or could even decline, she said.
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