In the natural gas industry, the U.S. seems to have a competitive edge

According to the American Chemistry Council, the United States has a competitive advantage over its domestic supply of inexpensive natural gas and natural gas liquids (NGLs).

The council analyzed 340 investment projects worth $204 billion in the chemical industry and found that businesses from around the globe are investing in the U.S. Of the 340 projects, 56% had completed or under construction their capital investment, 41% were in the planning phase, and 3% were either delayed or unknown.

Most of the production includes selling natural gas and NGLs. Certain projects include renovations of plants and new facilities. A total of 70 percent of investments came from non-U.S.-based companies or domestic firms with an international partner.

Improved industrial output has recently increased the supply of ethane, an NGL, and lowered the prices of natural gas.

The council investigated the permanent economic impact of increased production and predicted the number of people employed and the increase in output from 2010 to 2025.

Production is estimated to reach $292.2 billion, while the sector is expected to support 785,784 direct and indirect jobs with a $57.2 billion payroll. According to the Pennsylvania Chemical Industry Council, the chemical and petrochemical industry in Pennsylvania generates more than $1 billion in annual taxes and supports more than 80,000 workers. The industry in the state is estimated at $24 billion.

According to the American Chemistry Council, the quality and accessibility of domestic gas and NGL supplies, as well as the robustness of the sector, was affected by government policies.

Such policies include ensuring a timely, transparent and effective regulatory permitting process for manufacturing ventures and investments; maintaining fair, state-based regulations that prevent undue production constraints; increasing infrastructure building, such as supply pipelines; expanding access to foreign markets for U.S. goods; and enabling access to oil;

The analysis of the American Chemistry Council is an update of the 2013 report of the organization, “Shale Gas, Competitiveness, and New U.S. Chemical Industry Developmentā€“An An Examination of Announced Projects.”