Last updateThu, 23 May 2019 6pm


U.S. Specialty Chemical Markets Eased in February

The American Chemistry Council (ACC) reported that U.S. specialty chemicals market volumes eased 0.1% in February after a 0.2% gain in January and a 0.4% gain in December. All changes in the data are reported on a three-month moving average (3MMA) basis. During February, the overall specialty chemicals volume index was up 4.4% on a year-over-year 3MMA basis. The index stood at 114.6% of its average 2012 levels in January.

U.S. Natural Gas Consumption Set New Record in 2018

Natural gas consumption in the U.S. increased by 10% in 2018, reaching a record high of 82.1 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d), according to the EIA’s Natural Gas Monthly. Domestic consumption of natural gas increased across all sectors in 2018, led by a 3.8 Bcf/d increase in the electric power sector caused by a combination of recent natural gas-fired electric capacity additions and weather-related factors.

BP, Other Oil Majors Looking to Renewables in U.S.

BP “is in talks with a solar developer it partially owns, Lightsource BP, to buy power in the U.S., according to executives at the renewable company. A contract may be signed within six months,” Bloomberg reports.

“Oil majors are turning to wind and solar to run their operations as clean energy becomes cheap enough to compete with fossil fuels. Exxon Mobil Corp. last year agreed to contracts to buy 500 megawatts of solar and wind power in in the Permian Basin, the fastest growing U.S. oilfield.”

U.S. Nuclear Power Generation Hit New High in 2018

Electricity generation from U.S. nuclear power plants totaled 807.1 million megawatthours (MWh) in 2018, slightly more than the previous peak of 807.0 million MWh in 2010, based on preliminary annual data. Although several nuclear power plants have closed since 2010, a combination of added capacity through uprates and shorter refueling and maintenance cycles allowed the remaining nuclear power plants to produce more electricity. In the near future, however, EIA expects that U.S. nuclear power output will decline.

U.S. Chemical Production Declines in February

According to the American Chemistry Council, the U.S. Chemical Production Regional Index fell by 0.4% in February, following a revised 0.2% gain in January and a 0.5% gain in December. During February, chemical output fell across all regions, with the largest declines in the Gulf Coast and Ohio Valley regions.

Compared with February 2018, U.S. chemical production was up by 4.4% on a year-over-year basis, an improving comparison. Chemical production was higher than a year ago in all regions, with the largest gains in the Gulf Coast region, reflecting gains in the output at new shale-advantaged plants.

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