Posts Tagged ‘Saudi Arabia’

The world is flat … at least for global ethylene producers while oil prices are low

On Jan. 20, WTI and Dated Brent closed at $26.54/b and 25.96/b, respectively, the lowest we have seen oil prices since 2003. Since then we have seen prices rise and hover around the $30/b level.

Unlike ethane, naphtha is highly correlated with the price of oil. Therefore, fluctuations in global oil prices will have a major impact on steam crackers, more so in Europe and Asia where most producers utilize naphtha as a feedstock for producing ethylene.

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The Oil Big Five: What news is good news for oil in 2016?

Welcome to the first version of The Oil Big Five for 2016, when we round up some of the biggest news and trends from the global oil industry and think to ourselves: Wow, things sure have changed since our first post.

But then, that’s oil for you: Things are always changing, and yet some things remain the same. We asked our oil editors and analysts around the world for what they think are outstandingly important drivers in the markets, and these are items they chose, in no particular order.

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The impact of Saudi ethane price increases on competitiveness

At the end of December, Platts reported that Saudi Arabia increased the price of gasoline, domestic gas for power generation and ethane feedstock in its 2016 budget, part of a broader program to cut subsidies and reduce its budget deficit. As a part of this, the ethane price more than doubled from the long-standing fixed price of $0.75/MMBtu to $1.75/MMBtu, according to the official Saudi Press Agency.

So what does this mean for Saudi Arabia’s position as the world’s lowest-cost ethylene producer?

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China or Gulf: Which side of the force will prevail on CIS/Turkish steel?

The New Year has started for the CIS and Turkish longs steel markets with mixed signals, as the price sentiment in China increased slightly but the latest geopolitical uncertainty in the Gulf area raised concerns for the future market demand developments.

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Nigerian crude no longer the ‘talk of the town’

“It is a buyer’s market.” This phrase is omnipresent on most oil trader’s lips these days as crude oil prices continue to slide. None typifies this better than the current state of the Nigerian crude oil market. Overhang, glut, oversupply, unsold barrels, are some of the words most associated with Nigerian crude.

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Ticket to ride: Energy outlooks and the few who benefit

If you’ve been involved in any conversations about energy in 2015, there’s very much a sense the industry is gritting its teeth and just trying to get through this period of sustained low prices. And if you’ve looked at any forecasts about prices, supply, demand and production into the near future, it’s clear why there’s a prevailing sense of grim determination.

The Platts Global Energy Outlook Forum was held today in New York, and while there was still a feeling of caution about what the future will bring, there were also glimmers of hope for growing energy consumption to support producers. Well, glimmers of hope for some countries, anyhow.

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Few surprises expected from OPEC despite cracks over policy — Fuel for Thought

Never say never.

With this in mind, it would probably be foolish to rule out some kind of deal between OPEC and non-OPEC producers to manage supply.

But, right now, there’s nothing to suggest that any such pact is even a remote possibility, and few OPEC watchers expect the oil producer group to do anything other than rubber-stamp current output policy at talks in Vienna next week.

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How the shale boom strengthens US diplomatic clout: Fuel for Thought

In a new Oilgram News column, Fuel for Thought, Herman Wang explains how the abundance of domestic crude oil production gives the US diplomatic leverage and considers how — or if — that could change if export restrictions were lifted.

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Petrochemical implications of easing sanctions on Iran

Earlier this month, the US and its negotiating partners announced steps to move ahead on what is known as “adoption day,” intended to show readiness for sanctions relief for Iran. However, relief will only begin on “implementation day,” the day when the International Atomic Energy Agency certifies that Iran lived up to its commitments according to the nuclear deal completed in July.

According to the US CIA’s The World Factbook, Iran has the world’s second largest supply of conventional natural gas reserves, much of which is rich in ethane. Given that the rest of the Middle Eastern countries are experiencing limited supplies in ethane, this presents a huge opportunity for the Iranian petrochemical sector as sanctions are eased.

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Has US shale rendered spare capacity irrelevant? At the Wellhead

In this week’s Oilgram News column, At the Wellhead, Herman Wang  looks at how the resilience of shale and the proliferation of US oil production has pushed the US into a new role as the world’s swing producer.

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