ExxonMobil and Saudi state petchems firm Sabic announced on 20 January that they have started up their 50:50 joint venture ethane cracker on Corpus Christi Bay, Texas.

The 1.8mn t/y Gulf Coast Growth Ventures will use as feedstock ethane from the nearby Permian Basin. Both Permian crude and gas output is running at record levels (MEES, 21 January). The US has also made rapid progress over the last year in gas capture and processing from shale formations with both overall US NGLs and ethane output (2.4mn b/d) also at record highs. Exxon flags up the integration of the plant with its own Permian position where output soared to a record 500,000 boe/d for Q3 (MEES, 5 November). (CONTINUED - 179 WORDS)