04252017Tue
Last updateMon, 24 Apr 2017 5pm

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Natural Gas Inventories Above Five-Year Average

Working natural gas in storage as of March 31, the traditional end of the heating season, totaled 2,051 billion cubic feet, or almost 15% above the five-year average according to EIA's Weekly Natural Gas Storage Report. The total inventory of U.S. natural gas in storage tends to follow seasonal patterns of injections through the summer and withdrawals during the winter. Unlike the 2015–2016 heating season’s extremely high levels of natural gas inventories due to mild weather, inventories during the 2016–2017 heating season closely tracked the five-year average (2012-2016) until withdrawals slowed toward the end of the season. 


Alliance Pipeline Proposing Expansion to Chicago Market

Alliance Pipeline Co. has made a non-binding request for expressions of interest for additional natural gas transportation service on its system with an anticipated commencement date of Nov. 1, 2020. In response to high demand for its transportation service to the Chicago market hub, Alliance is assessing the feasibility of adding more compression facilities along its pipeline system to increase capacity. Approximately 500M standard cubic feet per day of new capacity could be made available. Alliance currently transports approximately 1.6B standard cubic feet per day on average. 

ExxonMobil, SABIC Plan $10B Petrochemical Plant Near Texas Coast

ExxonMobil Chemical Company and Saudi Arabia Basic Industries Corp. (SABIC) have selected a site in San Patricio County, TX for potential development of a jointly owned petrochemical complex on the U.S. Gulf Coast. The proposed project is one of 11 ExxonMobil announced as part of its 10-year, $20 billion 'Growing the Gulf' initiative.

The investment would include a world-scale ethane steam cracker capable of producing 1.8 million tons of ethylene per year, which would feed a monoethylene glycol unit and two polyethylene units. 

Visibility Clears on 2nd Wave of U.S Petrochemical Projects

The visibility into the second leg of U.S. petrochemical expansions is getting clearer, according to ICIS Chemical Business. While many projects were shelved or in doubt amid the crude oil price decline in 2014-2015, the recent relative stability in oil coupled with a renewed sense of optimism on long-term global demand growth is spurring a new round of project announcements and activity.

A robust oil price is beneficial to US producers who use cheap natural gas liquids (NGLs) feedstock to make products whose price largely tracks oil. And, of course, companies must believe there will still be plenty of ethane feedstock to go around to make these billion-dollar bets. 

Impact of Trump Administration on the U.S. Energy Industry

Trump has already started to make his mark in the energy sector, according to a new white paper from ICIS, paving the way for the building of two major oil pipelines while promising to revamp the coal and gas industry. In addition, he has started rolling back a series of environmental regulations with campaign promises mainly focused on an increase of U.S. jobs in order to encourage a boost in the sector and the wider economy.

Trump has also promised a doubling of shale oil production, U.S. energy dominance and total independence. However, given U.S. oil break-evens, what approach will cash-hungry cost-conscious oil exploration and production companies take? Could a preference for gas and coal mean the end of the renewables electricity systems? In addition, will there be a ripple effect if the Clean Power Plan gets scrapped? 

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