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Asian Chemical Connections

The Petronas Decision: What It Means

By John Richardson LAST week’s decision by Petronas to go ahead with its $27bn refinery and petrochemicals complex at Pengerang in Johor, Malaysia, tells us that: Nation building remains important in the petrochemicals business. This project will create huge further economic value for Malaysia through all the construction and operating jobs created and the revenues […]

US Shale Gas: Demand Is The Thing

By John Richardson Here is one way of looking at the shale gas industry in the US from a March Oxford Economics Report: While most of the companies that have made write-downs are not quitting, many players in this industry have already noted that the revolution is not as technically and financially attractive as they […]

US Petchems Risk Getting Only One Cookie

By John Richardson WALTER Mischel, the psychologist, carried out an experiment on four-year-old children in the late 1960s. “They were given a choice between a small reward (one Oreo cookie), which they could have at any time, or a larger reward (two cookies) for which they had to wait for 15 minutes under difficult conditions,” […]

What Comes After Shale Gas

By John Richardson IF the blog had a dollar for every occasion it had heard the phrase “ the shale gas revolution” over the last five years, we would be sitting on the deck of our yacht in Monte Carlo harbour right now, pondering the dilemma of when would be a good time for us […]

Europe’s Dinosaur Destiny

By John Richardson DINOSAURS became extinct, scientists think, because of an event beyond their control – either an asteroid colliding with the earth, volcanic activity, an ice age, disease or gradual climate change. With all due respect to the former inhabitants of our planet, they were not the brightest of species. Thus, even if they […]

US Shale Gas And Income Distribution

By John Richardson THE US shale gas and tight oil-driven energy revolution offers fantastic economic opportunities. Kevin Swift, Chief Economist and Managing Director of the American Chemistry Council, provided a comprehensive and very valuable summary of the opportunities during his speech at the 2nd ICIS Pan American Phenol-Acetone Conference, which took place in Houston, Texas, […]

ExxonMobil, Energy Efficiency And Innovation

By John Richardson SAVING money through energy efficiency, along with innovation, will be two of  the keys to success in the New Normal because  demand-growth patterns will be very different than during the Supercycle. The suspension, which guaranteed success for everybody, has gone. We are therefore going to see some creative destruction amongst chemicals and […]

Dow And Commodities-Specialities Integration

  By John Richardson IS diversification itself a problem in commodity chemicals and speciality companies with operations under one roof, or is it more how this diversification is handled? This is a question raised by this excellent Insight article, from the blog’s ICIS colleague Joe Chang, which revisits the issue of hedge fund Third Point’s […]

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