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Eagle Ford Could Produce Two Million Barrels per Day

Despite the slowdown, production growth in the Eagle Ford remains resilient as sweet spots emerge across all active sub-plays according to Wood Mackenzie's North America Key play analysis. Wood Mackenzie divided the Eagle Ford into 9 distinct sub-plays and results show its core areas are still some of the most attractive oil and gas investment opportunities across the globe.

"Market participants are currently focused on rig count and waiting for production to roll over, but that's not really happening yet. Companies are still increasing production over 2014 averages and active rigs are producing more," says Jeremy Sherby, Research Analyst Lower 48 Upstream Oil and Gas at Wood Mackenzie. "We still believe that the Eagle Ford will hit 2 million barrels per day (b/d) of oil and condensate production in 2020 but the path to get there will be different."

Recent Energy Mergers Signify New Era of Megadeals

Schlumberger’s acquisition of Cameron on Wednesday means that global energy mergers in the last 12 months are now at an unprecedented level.

“Oil has fallen by almost two thirds from last year’s June high to a six-year low of $37.75/bbl on Monday, helping to drive companies to acquisitions. Three of the last five quarters have exceeded $160 billion in deal volume, surpassing even the late 1990s, a period when many of the world’s largest energy corporations were formed, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.”

Refiners Face Decade Long Global Gasoline Glut

The global oil product market could experience a surplus of gasoline supply as early as 2017 which, combined with a deficit of middle distillate and fuel oil, would put significant pressure on refiners by the end of the decade. According to Wood Mackenzie, this is in contrast to the current picture, with refiners benefitting from low oil prices, unplanned refinery outages and slower than expected ramp-up of new facilities which have helped keep oil product markets tight.

However, Wood Mackenzie cautions that oil demand growth will eventually slow in the long-term thanks to increasing efficiency and alternative fuel sources. By 2019 Wood Mackenzie expects margins to fall to the minimum sustainable level for some refiners and identifies key market indicators that could see gasoline cracks bottom out at low levels last seen in 2013. 

Chemical Activity Barometer Follows Global Markets Downward

The Chemical Activity Barometer (CAB) from the American Chemistry Council dropped 0.3% in August, a marked deceleration of activity from second quarter performance. The decline follows a 0.1% gain in July and 0.5% gain in both May and June. Data is measured on a three-month moving average. Accounting for adjustments, the CAB remains up 1.8% over this time last year, also a deceleration of annual growth as compared to this time last year when the barometer logged a 4.2% annual gain over 2013.

Manufacturing Growth Raises U.S. Chemical Production

According to the American Chemistry Council (ACC), the U.S. Chemical Production Regional Index (U.S. CPRI) rose by 0.3% in July, following a revised 0.2% gain in June and flat growth over the March to May period. Compared to July 2014, U.S. chemical production was ahead by 3.7% on a year-over-year basis, a weakening trend. Chemical production remained ahead of year ago levels in all regions.

Over the same period, chemical production by segment was mixed. There were gains in the output of organic chemicals, inorganic chemicals, synthetic rubber, plastic resins, agricultural chemicals and pharmaceuticals. These gains were offset, however, by declines in the production of industrial gases, consumer products, coatings, manufactured fibers and other specialties.

On a three-month-moving average basis, manufacturing activity edged higher by 0.2% in July, following gains in May and June. Production expanded in several chemistry-intensive manufacturing industries, including motor vehicles, construction supplies, computers, plastic products, and furniture. 

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