As oil prices keep on falling, it might be tempting to forget the big picture. I had another frustrating conversation yesterday with a contact who believes that there's nothing to worry about on crude (it was all downs to speculators, he said) and so we could carry on as normal once the economic crisis is over.
Nonsense. If his views are prevalent in his company, his company will eventually be out of business.
Just as an example of how the nature of demand could change, see this article from the Economist about green buildings.
Formaldehyde demand could fall as could demand for the chemicals used in sealants ad adhesives.
But opportunities for increased sales of plastics could exist in "vacuum" windows.
A sustained spell of low oil prices might damage the push towards a sensible energy future.
The crisis will also make it harder to find the money for research and development of new products to provide for this future.