12142017Thu
Last updateThu, 14 Dec 2017 8pm

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Petroleum Demand in U.S. Highest in 10 Years

Total petroleum deliveries increased 2.4% from September 2016. These September deliveries were the highest September deliveries in a decade. For the third quarter 2017, total petroleum deliveries, a measure of U.S. petroleum demand, increased 2.1% from the same period last year to nearly 20.4 million barrels per day. For year to date 2017, total domestic petroleum deliveries increased 1.2% compared to the same period last year.

Gasoline deliveries in September were down from the prior month, the prior year, and the prior year to date, but were up from the prior year’s third quarter. Total motor gasoline deliveries, a measure of consumer gasoline demand, moved down 1.5% from August and down 0.8% from September 2016 to 9.4 million barrels per day–but remained the second highest September deliveries on record. 


U.S. Specialty Chemicals Market Falls in September

The Specialty Chemicals Market Volume Index fell 0.3% in September reflecting the lingering effects of Hurricane Harvey on market volumes. The decline follows a virtually flat performance in August. All data are reported on a three-month moving average basis. Of the twenty-eight specialty chemical segments monitored, eighteen expanded in September while seven markets declined and three remained stable. Markets showing largest gains included cosmetic chemicals, electronic chemicals, and flavors and fragrances. Muting the overall index, large declines were observed in the catalysts, lubricants, and plastic compounding markets. 

77M Acres in the Gulf of Mexico Up for Oil, Gas Development

The Interior Department is proposing the largest oil and gas lease sale ever held in the U.S. --76,967,935 acres in federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico, offshore Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida. The proposed region-wide lease sale, offering an area about the size of New Mexico, is scheduled for March 2018 and includes all available unleased areas on the Gulf’s Outer Continental Shelf (OCS), surpassing last year’s region-wide lease sale by about one million acres.

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management estimates that the OCS contains about 90 billion barrels of undiscovered technically recoverable oil and 327 trillion cubic feet of undiscovered technically recoverable gas. The Gulf of Mexico OCS, covering about 160 million acres, has technically recoverable resources of over 48 billion barrels of oil and 141 trillion cubic feet of gas. 

LyondellBasell Planning New Gulf Coast Facility

LyondellBasell has tentative plans to build a new $2.4 billion chemicals and polypropylene production plant in the U.S. Gulf Coast region starting in late 2018, CEO Bob Patel recently told the Houston Chronicle. The proposed complex would also include the largest propylene oxide and tertiary butyl alcohol plant in the world.

“It’ll take us a good part of about 12 months before we get to the point where we make a final decision,” said Patel. “But, yes, PDH (propane dehydrogenation) and polypropylene is the next project.” 

Midwest Refiners Boost Output, Less Dependent on Gulf

“U.S. refineries from Ohio to Minnesota are capitalizing on access to cheap crude from Western Canada and North Dakota oilfields, helping their region break a historic dependence on fuel from the Gulf Coast while redrawing oil trade maps,” Reuters is reporting.

“Yet analysts warned that weakening U.S. gasoline demand will make it challenging for Midwest refiners to sell their growing output. The Midwest is land-locked, making it hard to get products to new markets, especially as rival refiners defend their turf. Philadelphia area refiners are currently fighting efforts to reverse a pipeline so Midwest companies can move fuel to western Pennsylvania.” 

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