US GULF COAST ALKYLATE GROSS MARGINS*
Gross margin, $/bbl alkyate
2005 2006 2007 2008 2009
Source: Platts spot pricing USGC alkyate barge price, isobutane Mont Belivieu, normal butane Mont Belvieu
*30-day running average.
2010 2011 2012 2013
decline in domestic demand, coupled with limited new domestic markets for butane, will keep the supply of butanes
high and ensure that it sells at a large discount to heavier
While motor gasoline consumption in North America
will likely remain flat and eventually decline due to new
corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) standards and the
increasing use of biofuels, overall gasoline demand in the
Western Hemisphere should increase, as rapidly growing
demand in Latin America more than offsets the decline in
the North American markets.
In addition, fuel specifications in these same growing
export markets are evolving towards cleaner burning fuels.
With its superior blending properties, alkylate derived from
butanes will continue to be a key component in clean burning fuels and will likely displace less desirable or less economic gasoline blendstocks.
1. Lippe, Daniel, NGL Heavy End Markets “Change is
Knocking at the Door,” Platts Natural Gas Forum, Sept. 24,
2. Stauft, Tim, “Accessing Value for NGLs in Western
Canada,” DUG Conference, Calgary, June 20, 2012.
Eric Ye (Eric. Ye@dupont.com) is clean technologies technical development manager for DuPont
Sustainable Solutions in Wilmington, Del. He
has worked in the petroleum refining and
petrochemical industry for the past 22 years
and held positions in engineering, operations,
construction management and financial analysis
for Chevron, Hess, and Sunoco. Ye holds a BS in chemical
engineering from the University of Michigan and an MBA from
Drexel University. He is a licensed professional engineer in New
Jersey and a member of the American Chemical Society.
Daniel L. Lippe ( email@example.com) is president
of Petral Consulting Co., which he founded in
1988. He has expertise in economic analysis of
crude oil, refined products, natural gas, NGLs, other ethylene feedstocks, and primary petrochemicals. Lippe began his professional career in 1974
with Diamond Shamrock Chemical Co., moved
into professional consulting in 1979, and has served petroleum,
midstream, and petrochemical industry clients since that time.
Lippe holds a BS (1974) in chemical engineering from Texas A&M
University and an MBA (1981) from Houston Baptist University. He
is an active member of the Gas Processors Suppliers Association
and serves on GPA’s NGL Market Information Committee.