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Majority of U.S. Supports Expansion of Natural Gas Infrastructure

More than half of Americans support the development of additional infrastructure to expand the use of natural gas in the U.S., according to a poll conducted for Honeywell’s UOP business. An even larger number, three-quarters of respondents, agreed that the development of natural gas is driving economic growth in the U.S., underpinning the support for infrastructure development.

The survey of more than 2,000 U.S. adults conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs found that 56% support expanded development of infrastructure, including processing facilities to clean natural gas and transportation pipelines to bring that gas to consumers. Only 10% of adults opposed such investments, while 31% are unsure whether to support infrastructure expansion. A supermajority of 75% believes that natural gas exploration and development in the U.S. is driving economic resurgence in the nation, specifically in sectors including manufacturing.

Falling Energy Prices Challenge Profitability of U.S. Petrochemicals

The petrochemical industry got a taste of what could be a potential shift in petrochemical profitability during the last quarter as crude prices – and, in turn, naphtha prices – tumbled, according to Platts.

Although the falling energy prices do not directly impact the cost of making ethylene from low-cost, shale-based ethane in the U.S., the falling naphtha price is expected to put a pinch on the shale-based production margins, as the values of ethylene and polyethylene fall globally.

The falling naphtha price will make olefins supply from the rest of the world more competitive, as naphtha is currently the feedstock used to produce 44% of the world's ethylene. The latest Platts Global Polyolefins Outlook shows that the influence of naphtha prices on the plastics market is expected to shrink slightly during the next decade, with naphtha used for only 41% of global ethylene production in 2024.

U.S. Senate Passes Water for the World Act

The U.S. Senate has passed The Paul Simon Water for the World Act of 2014, bipartisan legislation to significantly improve access to clean water and sanitation around the world without spending new money or creating new bureaucracy. The bill, which was unanimously approved by the Senate late Monday, is sponsored by Sens. Bob Corker (R-TN) and Dick Durbin (D-IL), and cosponsored by Sens. Chris Coons (D-DE) and Jeff Flake (R-AZ). The bill will now be sent to President Obama to be signed into law.

The Senator Paul Simon Water for the Poor Act of 2005 made access to safe water and sanitation for developing countries a specific policy objective of the United States Foreign Assistance Program. The Act will make better use of existing Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) funds and strengthen WASH programming.

CEO Urges Petrochemical Industry to Enhance Connectivity

Digital technologies such as social media, mobile devices and the Internet are growing exponentially, connecting people from around the globe. This global connectivity is becoming a driving force behind greater transparency of corporate conduct, and is redefining what sustainability means for the petrochemical industry, according to Peter L. Cella, president and CEO of Chevron Phillips Chemical.

During his address, “Petrochemical Growth v. 2030: How the Connected World is Redefining Sustainability,” at the Gulf Petrochemicals and Chemicals Association (GPCA) Annual Forum in Dubai, Cella discussed how sustainability has evolved over the years and how the changing expectations on transparency and corporate conduct in a digital age are impacting the industry.

“Doing the right thing and communicating with greater transparency is becoming an imperative, and social media is one of those essential vehicles,” said Cella.

Shale Boom Creating Nearly One Million Manufacturing Jobs

According to PricewaterhouseCopper’s (PwC) new report titled, Shale Gas: Still a boon to US manufacturing?, the continued “shale effect” on U.S. manufacturing could bring an annual cost savings of $22.3 billion by 2030, assuming a high natural gas recovery and low price scenario. In terms of job creation, PwC estimates that continued shale gas activity will create 930,000 shale gas driven manufacturing jobs by 2030 and 1.41 million by 2040. These estimates are comparable to the analysis done in PwC’s 2011 study, which showed an annual cost savings of $11.6 billion and approximately one million jobs by 2025.

Among the industries continuing to benefit are energy intensive manufacturing sectors such as metals, chemicals and petrochemicals, which all use natural gas as feedstock. According to the report, growing prospects for building pipelines for the infrastructure that’s needed to support natural gas demands in the U.S. could also bring additional benefits to U.S. manufacturers who support those build-outs.

The survey also uncovered a continued rise in the number of companies commenting to the investment community on how shale gas activity affects their business. In 2013, 40 U.S. manufacturing companies included shale gas impacts in their public filings, up from 29 in 2011.

New Products


Valve Magazine Digital Edition

14 FALL CVR 160x214Inside the Fall 2014 issue…

• Market Outlook 2015
• Enhanced Oil Recovery
• Combined Cycle Power Plants
• Critical Role of Flanges


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