Last updateTue, 22 Jan 2019 8pm


U.S. LNG Export Capacity to More Than Double

The U.S. Energy Information Administration projects that U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) export capacity will reach 8.9 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) by the end of 2019, making it the third largest in the world behind Australia and Qatar. Currently, U.S. LNG export capacity stands at 3.6 Bcf/d, and it is expected to end the year at 4.9 Bcf/d as two new liquefaction units, Cameron LNG in Louisiana and Freeport LNG in Texas, become operational. 

Commercial Construction Relying More on Advanced Technologies

The Q4 2018 USG Corporation + U.S. Chamber of Commerce Commercial Construction Index indicates that despite staunch concerns over labor shortages and skilled workers, three-quarters of contractors believe advanced technologies may improve labor productivity on jobsites.

According to the Q4 report, while just over half of contractors currently use technologies like drones, equipment tagging, wearable technology, and augmented/virtual reality for their projects, 74% anticipate adopting such technologies over the next three years. Moreover, 58% of contractors also reported difficulty finding skilled workers – the highest level reported in 2018 – suggesting that as builders look for ways to contend with a scarce talent pool, investments in technology could help bridge the gap of labor. In fact, if demonstrated, improved labor productivity was reported by 66% of contractors as the top reason for companies to invest in advanced technologies. 

Global Chemicals Production Starts Fourth Quarter on Slow Note

Data collected and tabulated by the American Chemistry Council (ACC) show global chemicals production improved slightly in October after stable activity in September. During October, production declined in North America, Latin America, and the former Soviet Union (FSU), but rose in Europe, Africa and the Middle East, and Asia-Pacific. After softness earlier in the year, the Global Chemical Production Regional Index (CPRI) was up only 0.6% year-over-year (Y/Y) on a three-month moving average (3MMA) basis and stood at 115.9% of its average 2012 levels.

During October, capacity utilization in the global chemical industry eased 0.2 points to 83.6%. This is down from 85.9% last October and below the long-term (1987-2017) average of 86.5%. 

USGS Announces Largest Continuous Oil Assessment in TX & NM

The U.S. Department of the Interior announced the Wolfcamp Shale and overlying Bone Spring Formation in the Delaware Basin portion of Texas and New Mexico’s Permian Basin province contain an estimated mean of 46.3 billion barrels of oil, 281 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, and 20 billion barrels of natural gas liquids, according to an assessment by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). This estimate is for continuous (unconventional) oil, and consists of undiscovered, technically recoverable resources.

Although the USGS has previously assessed conventional oil and gas resources in the Permian Basin province, this is the first assessment of continuous resources in the Wolfcamp shale and Bone Spring Formation in the Delaware Basin portion of the Permian. Oil and gas companies are currently producing oil here using both traditional vertical well technology and horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing. 

U.S. Sets New Record for Petroleum Demand

The American Petroleum Institute’s latest monthly statistical report showed U.S. petroleum demand in October was 20.8 million barrels per day (mb/d), the strongest for the month since 2006. The U.S. also set October records for gasoline demand at 9.5 mb/d; refining and petrochemical demand for liquid feedstocks, naphtha, and gasoil at 5.1 mb/d; and, refinery throughput at 16.6 mb/d.

The Energy Information Administration (EIA) separately revised its short-term outlook to project a global oil supply surplus and lower prices for this quarter through 2019. 

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