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Work can be the death of you

My dear old mother used to often say “what’s the world coming to?” as if life was constantly getting worse.

But for South Korean workers – and for workers everywhere in Asia – expectations of employers have long been unreasonable. …

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Does your boss listen to you?

Perfect subject if you’ve got the post-weekend blues….

A very irate and tired and emotional chemicals trader was moaning last week about the imposition of a new knowledge-management system by his company.

“Our bosses never listen to us and they …

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Does the ‘truth’ ever matter?

The momentum of opinion might be about to shift in favour of the belief that this year’s crude-oil price surge is more to do with speculation than fundamentals.

No less than 15 bills targeting speculators are circulating around Washington at …

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Crazy money breeds new thinking

This article from The New Scientist suggests we might have to develop a whole new way of asssesing what drives all commodity markets.

Intuitively, everyone knows that the herd instinct matters. But to measure this mathematically, or statistically, seems a …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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