WASHINGTON, Feb. 21 (UPI) -- The American Chemistry Council's president said the shale natural gas industry has put the U.S. chemical sector at the top of the list for investments.
"Thanks to the shale gas production boom, the United States is the most attractive place in the world to invest in chemical and plastics manufacturing," Cal Dooley said in a statement Thursday.
The ACC said there are 148 projects planned for domestic shale gas operations, including new production facilities and expansions, and that, combined, they could lead to $100.2 billion in new investments in the U.S. chemical industry.
Hydraulic fracturing, a drilling practice known also as fracking, uses trace amounts of chemicals mixed with water and abrasives, usually sand, to create small fissures in shale to release natural gas.
Advancements in the drilling technology have led to a substantial increase in domestic natural gas production.
The American Petroleum Institute, the industry's lobbying group, said natural gas liquids production, which it said Thursday was a co-product of natural gas production, reached approximately 2.8 million barrels per day in January, a 16.6 percent increase from January 2013 and an all-time record.