Total Adapts to North America's Shale Gas Boom

In the United States, the development of shale gas plays means there is an abundant supply of local light crude oil at low prices. Total’s facilities need energy in order to make the products that the world demands sustainably and economically. In the United States, the development of shale gas plays means there is an abundant supply of local light crude oil at low prices. For Total’s refining and chemicals sector, there are two benefits—lower cost local energy to fuel our plants and access to advantaged feedstocks to create the motor fuels and building blocks for the plastics that the world needs.

  • Total Adapts to North America's Shale Gas Boom

    Total and the North American Shale Gas Boom

    Total

Buying local

Rather than importing crude, Total can access local light crudes at our platform in Port Arthur, Texas, which completed a logistics project in 2014 that ties our complex into the U.S. pipeline network and gives it access to the domestic oil.

We’ve also modified the steam cracker that we own in partnership with BASF. Now, not only can it process naphtha, but also ethane, propane and butane, which are found in North American shale gas. These improvements enhance Total’s flexibility to deliver energy in a wider variety of economic conditions. Moreover, Total maximizes synergies with our existing facilities because the output from the cracker is used to produce polymers and styrene at our assets in Texas and Louisiana.

Making the Most of Our Market

In addition, Total invested in the development of PAR by adding a Coker and it has helped us get more out of the oil we process so that less has to be transported elsewhere. Since 2011, we’ve used the Coker to process heavy crude oil, which costs less because it is harder for refiners to process. Cokers reduce the quantity of residual oil by heating it and turning it into motor fuels and petroleum coke, which can be used as fuel for Cogeneration plants, and in the production of aluminum, cast iron, and steel. We refine extra-heavy oil, known as opportunity crude, and blend with light crude to optimize our product mix and make the most of our investment.

The Port Arthur refining and petrochemical complex is one of Total’s six major integrated platforms worldwide. Our investments here demonstrate just how committed Total is to delivering value in the United States.

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