Royal Dutch Shell PLC is considering building a $10 billion plant in Louisiana that will make diesel fuel out of natural gas, according to The Wall Street Journal.
The Journal story says the giant plant would be similar in size to Shell’s Pearl gas-to-liquids facility in the Mideast nation of Qatar. The Pearl plant can produce enough diesel each day to fuel 160,000 cars.
Shell declined to comment on its plans, and the story did not give the location of the plant in Louisiana. Shell may take two years to determine whether the plant if economically feasible.
Shell’s plans are the latest sign that energy companies are looking for more ways to capitalize on the United States’ massive finds of shale gas. The shale production has dropped natural-gas prices to a 10-year low, around $2 per thousand cubic feet. Meanwhile, diesel prices are near a record, up 4 percent from 2011.
In September, Sasol Ltd. announced it was doing a feasibility plan for a gas-to-liquids plant in Westlake and an ethylene cracker. Ethylene is a building block in alcohol- and plastic-based products. The total investment in the complex could top $14 billion.