Finding a Destination for Condensate Exports

Posted July 22, 2014 at 5:41pm

As the Commerce Department moves to allow companies to export mildly processed ultralight oil known as condensate, is there a global market? Yes, and it is principally in Asia, experts say.

Currently the United States exports about 200,000 barrels of condensate per day, much of it to Canada to dilute the oil from tar sands so that it will flow through a pipeline. That amount is expected to double or increase even more, depending on the outcome of proposed pipelines like Keystone XL, said Kevin Book, managing director of the research firm ClearView Energy Partners.

There is also sufficient demand abroad to use condensate to produce fuel and petrochemicals for manufacturing plastics or other products, experts said.

Former White House energy adviser Jason Bordoff said there is a market for condensate in Latin America and Asia.

“The biggest share of that condensate market would be in Asia” to produce petrochemicals, Bordoff said.

Demand in Asia and Latin America would be high enough to accept expected U.S. exports for 20 to 30 years, Maria van der Hoeven, head of the International Energy Agency told Reuters last week.

An earlier version of this article misattributed Book?s quote.