Last updateThu, 05 Dec 2019 8pm

Chemical Activity Barometer Falls in October

The Chemical Activity Barometer (CAB) from the American Chemistry Council fell 0.4% in October on a three-month moving average (3MMA) basis following stable activity during the third quarter. On a year-over-year basis, the barometer was off 0.5% (3MMA).

The unadjusted measure of the CAB for October showed a 0.7% decline. The diffusion index fell to 47% in October – the first time since May 2016 that it was below 50%. The diffusion index marks the number of positive contributors relative to the total number of indicators monitored. The CAB reading for September was revised downward by 0.44 points and that for August by 0.25 points.

IHS Markit: U.S. Shale Production Growth Slowing

U.S. shale production—the chief source of rapid growth that made the United States the world’s largest oil producer—is slowing down fast, says a new report by IHS Markit.

The new IHS Markit outlook for oil market fundamentals for 2019-2021 expects total U.S. production growth to be 440,000 barrels per day (b/d) in 2020 before essentially flattening out in 2021. Modest growth is expected to resume in 2022. But those volumes would still be in stark contrast to the boom levels of recent years, said Raoul LeBlanc, vice president for North American uncoventionals, IHS Markit.


OPEC: U.S. Shale Cutting into Market Share

According to their latest World Oil Outlook, OPEC expects to take up a smaller share of the world’s oil markets in the coming years. This is thanks in large part to the continuing expansion of U.S. shale. They project non-OPEC liquids supply to grow by 9.9 million b/d between 2018 and 2024, the majority coming from U.S. tight oil.

OPEC also anticipates the U.S. & Canada to increase crude and condensate exports in the medium-term.

CSB: Valves Unable to be Closed Manually During Fire

“The U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) said on Wednesday a fuel leak, possibly due to open valves and a running pump, set off a massive blaze at a Mitsui & Co Ltd petrochemical storage operation along the Houston Ship Channel in March.”

According to the Reuters, CSB lead investigator Crystal Thomas “noted that valves on the piping had to be operated manually, preventing emergency workers from being able to shut the piping system as the fire spread.”

EPA Proposes Changes to Coal Ash, Wastewater Rules

The EPA announced two proposed regulations – one that applies to the management of coal combustion residuals (CCR) from electric utilities and one that revises a portion of the regulations (known as effluent guidelines) affecting wastewater management from steam electric power plants. Because these proposed rules may affect many of the same facilities, EPA coordinated their timing to promote transparency and regulatory certainty for the U.S. power sector and electric reliability for consumers.


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