Last updateThu, 19 Jul 2018 4pm


OECD Natural Gas Production Up 2.4% in 2017

An assessment of monthly data shows that in 2017 Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) natural gas production grew by 2.4% compared to 2016. This growth was driven by increases in production across all OECD regions, particularly in Asia Oceania (+17.7%), whilst the Americas and Europe saw moderate growth, with increases of 1.1% and 0.4% respectively.

The Americas continued to account for nearly three quarters of the total OECD natural gas production in 2017. In the Americas, production in Canada and the U.S. drove the overall trend upwards (+5.7% and +0.7% respectively), despite lower production levels in Mexico (-12.2%) in 2017. 

Major Trends Changing the Chemical Industry

“The accelerated globalization of the chemicals market is one of four major trends that we at SAP see shaping the chemical industry through the remainder of 2018 and beyond,” writes Stefan Guertzgen, global senior director for industry solution marketing, chemicals at SAP.

“Amid such a dynamic and pressurized global environment, the onus is on chemical companies to explore new ways to maintain a competitive edge. Many are doing so by re-imagining fundamental business processes through a digital lens.” 

Gulf Crude Production to Continue at Record Highs

U.S. crude oil production in the Federal Gulf of Mexico increased slightly in 2017, reaching 1.65 million b/d, the highest annual level on record. Although briefly hindered by platform outages and pipeline issues in December 2017, oil production in the Gulf is expected to continue increasing in 2018 and 2019, based on forecasts in the EIA’s latest Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO). EIA expects the Gulf to account for 16% of total U.S. crude oil production in each year.

Based on STEO’s expected production levels at new fields and existing fields, annual crude oil production in the Gulf will increase to an average of 1.7 million b/d in 2018 and 1.8 million b/d in 2019. However, uncertainties in oil markets may still affect long-term planning and operations in the Gulf, and the timelines of future projects may change accordingly. 

China’s Promises Allow U.S. Producers to Breathe Easier

Recently, Chinese President Xi Jinping gave reassuring words to help calm tariff tensions with the U.S. Xi’s commitment to cut tariffs and open the economy could be a first step in drawing more interest from foreign investment.

Rystad Energy estimates that U.S.-headquartered E&P companies have 75,000 barrels a day of crude oil production and 200 million cubic feet a day of gas coming from China. This is miniscule in comparison with the overall 3.7 million barrels a day of crude oil production and 13.5 billion cubic feet a day of gas that China is projected to produce in 2018. 

Global Chemicals Production Continues on Soft Note

Data collected and tabulated by the American Chemistry Council (ACC) show that growth in global chemical production continued on a soft note in February. The ACC’s Global Chemical Production Regional Index (Global CPRI) indicates that global chemicals production fell 0.8% in February, following a revised 0.7% drop in January and a 0.3% gain in December. During February, production gains were in North America, Europe, Africa and Middle East with weakness in Latin America and Asia-Pacific. The Global CPRI was up 2.0% year-over-year on a 3MMA basis and stood at 114.3% of its average 2012 levels in February. 

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