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U.S. Driving Global Gas Market Transformation

The global natural gas market is undergoing a major transformation driven by new supplies coming from the U.S. to meet growing demand in developing economies and industry surpasses the power sector as the largest source of gas demand growth, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA).

The U.S. – the world’s largest gas consumer and producer – will account for 40% of the world’s extra gas production to 2022 thanks to the remarkable growth in its domestic shale industry. By 2022, US production will be 890 bcm, or more than a fifth of global gas output. Production from the Marcellus, one of the world’s largest fields, will increase by 45% between 2016 and 2022, even at current low price levels, as producers increase efficiency and produce more gas with fewer rigs. 


Global Energy Investment Fell for Second Straight Year

Global energy investment fell by 12% in 2016, the second consecutive year of decline, as increased spending on energy efficiency and electricity networks was more than offset by a continued drop in upstream oil and gas spending, according to the International Energy Agency’s annual World Energy Investment report.

Global energy investment amounted to $1.7 trillion in 2016, or 2.2% of global GDP. For the first time, spending on the electricity sector around the world exceeded the combined spending on oil, gas and coal supply. The share of clean-energy spending reached 43% of total supply investment, a record high. The U.S. saw a sharp decline in oil and gas investment, and accounted for 16% of global spending. 

Oasis Proposes North Dakota Gas Plant Expansion

“Oasis Midstream aims to expand the Wild Basin Gas Plant in McKenzie County, a plan that would make the facility the largest natural gas processing complex in North Dakota,” the Bismark Tribune reports.

“The plant, about 6 miles northeast of Watford City, processes 80 million cubic feet per day. With the expansion, Oasis proposes to construct a complex next to the existing plant that would add an additional processing capacity of 265 million cubic feet per day, for a total of 345 million cubic feet per day.” 

U.S. Chemical Industry Employment Continues to Rise

“According to the American Chemistry Council (ACC), the abundance of cheap natural gas has helped fuel at least 294 new or planned chemical projects (as of March 2017). With those projects comes jobs.”

ChemInfo reports that “employment in the U.S. chemicals industry has been steadily increasing each month. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the industry employed about 818,000 workers in May 2017 — up from 815,000 in February, but still a ways from the 828,000 predicted by ACC for this year. But if ACC’s projections are correct, another 20,000 jobs could be added in the next few years. 

Global Chemicals Production Recovered in May

The American Chemistry Council’s Global Chemical Production Regional Index (Global CPRI) shows that global chemicals production rose 0.5% in May after revised flat performance in April, as measured on a three-month moving average (3MMA) basis. During May, production increased in North America, Western Europe, Central & Eastern Europe, Africa & the Middle East, and the Asia-Pacific region but decreased again in Latin America. The Global CPRI was up 1.9% year-over-year (Y/Y) on a 3MMA basis and stood at 109.9% of its average 2012 levels in May.

Results were generally positive on a product basis during May, with gains in agricultural chemicals, manufactured rubber, coatings, and other specialty chemicals. Considering year-over-year comparisons, growth was strongest in coatings followed by plastic resins and inorganic chemicals. 

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