Posts Tagged ‘Latin America’

The Oil Big Five: Already looking at changes for 2016 and beyond

We’re speeding toward the end of 2015, which means that our monthly oil feature, The Oil Big Five, is increasingly focused on topics that could shape the global oil industry into 2016 and beyond.

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Struggles to cut cost delay oil play production in Argentina: At the Wellhead

There are always myriad reasons why vast oil resources worldwide may not be produced, and in this week’s Oilgram News column, At the Wellhead, Charles Newbery digs into challenges facing the biggest shale play in Argentina, which could rival the prolific production of US plays if properly tapped.

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The dollar’s impact on US polyethylene

The US dollar has fallen sharply over the past few months following an impressive push upward for nearly a year. This reversal has helped propel crude prices upward and, in turn, petrochemical prices — a relationship that occurs because crude and many other commodities are priced in US dollars. A weaker dollar means you need more of them to buy a barrel of crude, a bushel of wheat or a bag of polyethylene.

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New Frontiers: Colombia looks to reverse the drop in its oil production

After a much-celebrated turnaround in increasing oil production, Colombia reversed course last year. In this week’s Oilgram News column, Regulation & Environment, Chris Kraul talks with a key Colombian official on reversing that slide.

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The Oil Big Five: Looking into the short future of 2014

The end of December is just around the corner, and it’s typical at this time of year for publications to take a grand look backward to sum up the year. What kind of proclamations can we make about the global oil industry in 2014? What sort of lessons are there to be learned, and how will we look back on 2014 years from now?

As tempting as it may be to take that look in the rearview mirror, today we’re going to look ahead with our December version of The Oil Big Five. By now you know the drill: We ask our Platts editors and analysts in offices around the globe what they think are the biggest issues or topics in the oil world for the upcoming month, and then we ask you for your thoughts. Are we right, are we wrong, and what do you want to see covered? Leave us your comments here or with #oilbig5 on Twitter.

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Recent plant closure in Chile underscores opportunities for North American polyethylene makers in the region

The recent closure of a polyethylene plant in Chile highlights why Latin America will be a hot market–and a battlefield–for North American resin producers in the coming years.

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Survivor Latin America: Small polymer makers ponder moves ahead of US petrochemicals boom

The US petrochemical renaissance could spell the death of the small polymer producer in Latin America.

Or not.

But there’s no denying that the threat facing these companies is quite real and quite easy to figure out.

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Figures on Venezuela’s oil, product exports to China are for the birds

One thing I learned during an eight-year stint in Latin America is that magical realism is not just a literary device popular among writers there.

Sometimes it is a worldview, such as when a government minister of a certain Latin American country assured a group of journalists that vastly increasing its oil production was just a few weeks away as all they had to do was “turn on” some non-producing wells. This was the same minister who gulped down brackish water from a lake to “prove” that an oil spill there had been cleaned up. He said it tasted just fine.

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A sea change for US jet fuel: record net exports for 2012

Think the jets to Europe and Latin America are packed? Try the ships carrying jet fuel.

 The idling of a major Caribbean refinery last year helped speed along a net export trend for US jet fuel, with a record amount shipped out of the US in 2012. The reversal of historic net imports happened despite events that would normally make one think the US would be a heavy importer: major refinery issues on the West Coast and Hurricane Sandy on the East Coast.

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Oil and white noise in Ecuador, the middle of the world

Platts’ sparkling new office in downtown Houston boasts a “white noise” system that is barely discernible but muffles distracting conversations from a few cubicles away. Concentrating is easier, despite the rule of thumb that good journalism happens amid chaos and doughnut crumbs. But the system also cancels out sometimes useful information I used to overhear.

About the same time as our office move, an article in a state-run Ecuadorean newspaper reminded me of how some governments develop their own virtual white-noise systems to cancel out distracting alternative opinions.  

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