About John

Author Archive | John

Middle East and China to run C2s regardless….

….that’s the case – in the Middle East case because of advantaged feedstock and in China’s case because it will be strategic.

In previous downturns, far more capacity was western, or other Asian, and liquids based and so rate cuts …

Continue Reading

It’s a whole new ball game

First of all, apologies to readers for my complete neglect of this blog over the last six weeks. I can only plead overwork and being too stunned by the collapse of the global economy to think about the blogosphere.

I …

Continue Reading

Shell plans for the long-term

See below for an extended interview with Shell Chemicals vice president, Ben van Beurden, who talks of the search for new feedstock sources. He raises the possiblity of using syngas from the Pearl GTL project in Qatar to make methanol …

Continue Reading

This is unsustainable- crude correction soon

I am beginning to come to the view that something has to give in the medium-term. There is no way that the global economy can support crude prices at current levels, and you can argue, as Lehman Bros does, that …

Continue Reading

China earthquake tragedy

An overused word – tragedy – but the events of the last week justify the description.

But what a relief that the Chinese government has reacted so promptly and so efficiently, in complete contrast the callous incompetence of the thugs …

Continue Reading

Aromatics become ever-more challenging

If the refining industry is the tail that certainly does not wag the dog of oil exploration, where does that leave aromatics? Quite probably, the flea on the coat of the dog.

And it gets ever-more complicated and the risks …

Continue Reading

How do you account for the externalities?

Economists refer to externalities as those factors that can influence growth but that are beyond the influence of humans to determine. As ar result, the members of this esteemed profession tend to ignore externalities.

If we’ve left it too late …

Continue Reading

The search for more basic petrochemicals

Very interesting speech from Alan Kirkley, Vice President of Strategy and Portfolio for Shell Chemicals, which first of all goes over the predictable ground of where we are in the cycle and the threat from the Middle East.

However, he …

Continue Reading

History will surely repeat itself

The mood at the recent NPRA International Petrochemical Conference in San Antonio, Texas, was mixed, despite all the economic gloom.

Some producers said they were still making money – especially those selling into manufacturing sectors benefiting from a rise in …

Continue Reading

Is the last margin grab over?

Shortly after I wrote this article (see below) on the doom and gloom surrounding China polyolefins markets, hey presto, prices rallied and I was wondering whether I needed to be wiping egg off my face.

But shortly after the slight …

Continue Reading