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Asian Chemical Connections

US Polyethylene Competitiveness To Surge in 2012

George Mitchell of Devon Energy – The “Father of Shale Gas” By John Richardson US polyethylene (PE) input costs will be 50% less than those in Europe and Asia beyond 2012, says a new report by Morgan Stanley. The extraordinary gap in competitiveness is the result of the shale gas revolution that has sharply reduced […]

The perils of forecasting

By Malini Hariharan This is a tough time for those who are in the business of forecasting. Predictions of petrochemical margins hitting the bottom in 2009 have so far not materialised and volumes from new plants are being digested quite easily. “What’s happening? It is hard to understand the [market] situation; until when can you […]

Saudi Private Petchem Cos To Consolidate

A-Jubail in Saudi Arabia Source of picture: www.chemicals-technology.com   By John Richardson SOME of the privately-owned Saudi Arabian petrochemical producers could well be forced to consolidate as a result of lack of feedstock for expansions, an industry source told the blog yesterday. The private players in Saudi Arabia are listed on the local stock exchange, but […]

Picking The Winners And Losers

  Source of picture: ICIS   By John Richardson ICIS has just published its Top 100 listing for 2009, which, not surprisingly, reveals the nothing-short-of devastating impact of the global economic crisis on chemical company financial performances. “Unprecedented operating and financial conditions helped drive annual sales for industry giants down more than 30%,” writes my […]

Looking for ethane? Head West

By Malini Hariharan A problem of plenty is building up in the US where the rise of shale gas production could create problems in disposal of ethane. This may sound hard to believe but a new report by Bentek Energy concludes that a big challenge for Marcellus Shale gas producers, located in Northeast US, is […]

When Does Consolidation Become A Strategic Problem?

All our yesterdays… the ICI Runcorn site in its heyday Source of picture: Chesterchronicle.co.uk     By John Richardson Yesterday’s blog post on Petronas illustrates once again how the state-owned giants, albeit in this case one that is about to undergo a partial IPO, are increasingly dominating the global petrochemicals industry. The history of the […]

Long-term Shift In LPG Cracking Economics

  Source of picture: the truth about cars   By John Richardson WHEN my fellow blogger Malini Hariharan once asked a particularly unhelpful individual who used to track polyethylene (PE) markets what was going on, his only response was “conditions are volatile”. And so as you kick-off this fine and sunny morning (at least it is here […]

China to invest in Iran petrochemical projects?

By Malini Hariharan The recent sanctions are making business operations difficult for Iranian petrochemical producers. And just when questions were being raised about the prospects of the country’s numerous projects, news has emerged that Iran and China are on the verge of finalizing a pact which will see China invest money in Iranian petchems. The […]

GCC gas shortage expected to last till 2015

By Malini Hariharan After enjoying years of plentiful supplies the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries face a gas shortage that could last another five years, says consultancy Booz & Co. And this is happening at a time when other countries around of the world, especially the US, are seeing a surge in availability. Source: Booz […]

Indonesia is back on the projects scene

By Malini Hariharan After a decade of inactivity since the Asian financial crisis, Indonesia is once again drawing attention. Two news reports indicate that companies are evaluating major investments in refining and petrochemicals. Taiwan’s Chinese Petroleum Corp (CPC) is said to be planning a $2.8bn petrochemical complex at Kalimantan in Indonesia. Indonesia’s Coordinating Ministry for […]

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