Ethane at the Mont Belvieu, Texas trading hub, a traditional pricing benchmark, sold for 28.4 cents per gallon Tuesday, down from a peak average of 89 cents in October, according to Platts research. Propane at Mont Belvieu sold for 79.65 cents per gallon, down from $1.47 a gallon in October.
The weak prices, which may last for several years due to a mismatch between supply and demand according to many market observers, could provide an unexpected hit to earnings and cash flow for many exploration and production companies.
Natural-gas liquids, produced from oil and natural-gas wells, are forms of gas that are liquid when they reach the surface or are easily turned into a liquid. They have many uses but are mainly used in making plastics and synthetic rubber.