Posts Tagged ‘Middle East’

The changing dynamics of global benzene supply

Benzene is a primary aromatic and the precursor for the C6 value chain, and finds itself at crossroads in relation to the aromatics main outlet of supply. Benzene supply is traditionally dependent on gasoline production out of the refinery and as a co-product of naphtha cracking.

However, massive projections for increased polyethylene terephthalate demand in Asia led to a wave of investments in paraxylene production units and resulted in growth of benzene production as a by-product from these units. Also, with major refinery expansions in the Middle East (especially processing heavier crude, which yields more benzene) and Asia, as well as move to lighter cracking for ethylene production in the US and the Middle East, benzene supply dynamics globally have changed. Benzene is no longer just dictated by the traditional means of supply.

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Oil demand is recovering, but are we susceptible to irrational exuberance?

The world seems to be using more oil now that it is 40% cheaper than a year ago and especially so in countries enjoying some economic growth momentum.

Depending on who you are listening to, the US, China, India and the Middle East are cited as the main drivers of demand growth in 2015, with consumption in Japan and the Eurozone improving from a low base last year, in line with their economic recovery.

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The Oil Big Five: Marking one year of watching the global oil industry

This month’s version of The Oil Big Five marks its first anniversary and we’re pleased to still be serving up a monthly dose of topics to keep an eye on in the global oil industry.

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UAE, Iraq oil potentials prove as much variation within region as among regions: New Frontiers

In this week’s Oilgram News column, New Frontiers, Tamsin Carlisle and Adal Mirza illustrate the widely varying states of oil production in a region where reserves and potential are bountiful — if they can be tapped.

From the outside, it can be tempting to lump together the Persian Gulf oil states as a homogeneous mass. After all, oil statistics on the region typically talk of the “Middle East” and they export crude to much the same markets, mainly in Asia.

However, as delegates at the Middle East Petroleum and Gas Conference in Abu Dhabi recently heard, not all Gulf oil producers are created equal, and those with some of the biggest reserves may, in coming years, be outperformed by more reliable suppliers.

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How the LME’s warehouse reforms have played a key role in the fall of global aluminum premiums

This dramatic fall in global aluminum premia has taken the majority of market participants by surprise. However, there seems to be reluctance among market participants to identify recent London Metal Exchange warehouse reforms as having had much to do with the drop in regional premia.

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Abu Dhabi’s onshore concession award to Inpex of no great surprise to oil observers

It wasn’t the first time, and it will not be the last. Abu Dhabi struck a deal on April 27 with Japan’s Inpex, awarding a 5% stake in its giant Adco onshore oil concession for the next 40 years from January 1, 2015.

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Beware the oil slick: US polyethylene prices slip and slide to unexpected levels

For two years, US polyethylene prices climbed higher and higher.

For two years, feedstock prices had little-to-no impact on domestic polyethylene contracts. Upward or downward shifts in domestic demand seemed to have little effect.

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Dubai’s national oil company considers expanding upstream presence: Petrodollars

Many have been waiting for mergers and acquisitions— particularly in E&P sectors — to pick up in light of low oil prices, and one case of a downstream-focused company considering acquiring an oil producer caught the attention of Tamsin Carlisle in this week’s Oilgram News column, Petrodollars.

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Desperate times call for inventive measures in Japanese crude buying

Huge inventory losses brought on by the plunge in oil prices in the second half of last year prompted Japanese refiners, desperate to eke out margins, to switch away from some of their staple heavy crude imports from the Middle East in favor of spot barrels from Russia and even far-away Mexico.

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Is politicking pushing oil prices lower?

The immediate reason for the oil price plunge seems fairly clear – producers going gung-ho at a time of weak demand, which is not helped by the buoyant greenback.

What is murkier, perhaps, is how geopolitical agendas and motivations are feeding the bear market.

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