Belgian Solvay opens a plant and laboratory in North Dakota

Chemical plant
Source: DollarPhotoClub

Belgian chemical company Solvay has opened its laboratory and production facility in North Dakota, putting it in pole position to serve oil and gas customers in the Bakken Shale Formation and expand its extensive tailored formulations that facilitate extraction.

With this new facility in Killdeer, Solvay’s Global Business Unit Novecare is among the first speciality chemical players to serve oilfield services companies in North America’s second largest reserve of tight oil and shale gas. Novecare’s eighth laboratory and production unit is at the heart of the Bakken area, giving it key access to customers.

Solvay Novecare develops tailor-made, bio-based speciality formulations that help oilfield services operators manage and reduce water consumption, optimize stimulation operations and improve well yields. The business unit, which last year acquired Chemlogics, develops and produces these formulations at plant and laboratory facilities near its customers in the field. Each formulation is designed to fulfil their distinct needs, depending on the unique geological conditions of the shale formations.

“Most of our lab-to-well services are in Texas, but thanks to this new facility we can now also seize growth opportunities with our oil and gas customers in North Dakota’s increasing shale gas activities,” said Chen Pu, Solvay Novecare Executive Vice President for Oil & Gas.

“Our priority is to provide expert formulation and production services that quickly and accurately meet a specific application need, driving value for our customers,” said Jack Curr, Director of Novecare unit Chemplex, which provides specialty chemicals for the oil and gas industry.

Cheap and plentiful gas lowered the prices of feedstocks making North American chemical companies more competitive than their counterparts abroad. This sparked a drive among European chemical manufacturers to establish a foothold in the U.S. In May, the German chemical company BASF announced that it is considering building a methane-to-propylene plant in the U.S. to capitalise on cheap American gas. At a cost of 1.4 billion dollars, this would be BASF’s largest single-plant investment to date.

Meanwhile, Swiss INEOS Group announced that it was increasing it’s fleet of advanced multigas carriers from four to six in order to bring cheap American shale gas to its refineries at Grangemouth, Scotland and Rafnes in Norway.

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