Tag Archives | Petrochemicals

Mardi Gras for US petrochemicals

Interesting comments from Wells Fargo analyst Frank Mitsch attending the IHS Global Petrochemicals Conference in Houston, Texas, which had record attendance of around 1,200. “The mood is rather jovial, with every other sentence containing shale gas and cheap ethane,” said Mitsch. “The Middle East, long thought to be advantaged, is having to shift its slate […]

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A geographic disconnect

There is an interesting disconnect between how players in one geography view conditions in another, and how local players see their own market dynamics. For example, major European chemical companies have a rather optimistic outlook on growth in China and Asia, pinning their hopes on the region to drive earnings growth in 2013 and beyond. […]

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Middle East petrochemical producers move up the cost curve

Just how far up the global ethylene cost curve will Middle East crackers go? One Wall Street analyst sees dramatic cost escalation for producers in Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Iran as ethane supplies dry up and feedstock costs rise, especially for mixed feed crackers that use ethane as well as liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) – […]

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Planned US LNG export projects parallel cracker slate

As you look over the impressive list of planned projects for North American liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports, you can see a parallel in the heavy project slate for planned new world scale crackers in the US. Both are being driven by the US shale gas boom. Yet there is the potential for one to […]

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Latin America’s shale

The spotlight on petrochemical investment in the Americas has shone on the US shale gas boom and the resulting rash of planned new ethane crackers that could increase US ethylene capacity by about 32% by 2017-2018. But Latin America’s game-changer could be Brazil’s pre-salt oil and gas bounty, as well as shale gas formations in […]

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Refining the red-headed stepchild

In the Western world, refining is the red-headed stepchild of the oil, gas and petrochemical business. Companies are either selling, spinning off or shutting down refineries – spurred by near-term profitability issues as well as long-term strategic shifts in direction. The desirability, or more aptly the lack thereof, of these assets is highlighted by LyondellBasell’s […]

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Finally – a US cracker!

In the first of what we believe will be a wave of new investment in North American petrochemical capacity, Chevron Phillips Chemical has unveiled the first plans for a worldscale grassroots ethylene cracker in the US to take advantage of abundant supplies of shale gas. Recognize this as a watershed event. This is the first […]

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Fear not the QE2 backlash

Nothing lasts forever. You never know what’s going to derail a fantastic bull run – at least temporarily. After unimpeded optimism over several months fueled by the continuing global economic recovery, some serious concerns are coming out of the woodwork. Expectations for an interest rate hike in China to tame growing inflation threw cold water […]

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The petrochemical supply tsunami is on its way!

BY JOHN RICHARDSON/SINGAPORE It has been an amazing 18 months in global petrochemicals and plastics during which the tsunami of new supply from Asia and the Middle East has been constantly delayed. This, along with deep operating cuts by Western producers, has created tight markets. The industry has further benefited from Chinese demand growth that has […]

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Shale gas is the North American petrochemical industry’s “Ace in the Hole”

THE NORTH American petrochemical industry has endured through the worldwide economic storm as well as the onslaught of new capacity in the Middle East and Asia. But North America will compete at the global table if it plays its cards right. Its ace in the hole? – Shale gas. In the past few years, the […]

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