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EIA Forecasts Increasing Global Crude Production Through 2019

The U.S. Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) new Short-Term Energy Outlook forecasts Brent crude oil to average $60 per barrel (b) in 2018 and $61/b in 2019, slightly higher than the $54/b average in 2017. In both 2018 and 2019, EIA expects total global crude oil production to be slightly greater than global consumption, with U.S. crude oil production increasing more than any other country.

EIA forecasts the West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil spot price will average $55/b in 2018 and $57/b in 2019, or $4/b and $5/b, respectively, lower than Brent prices. This price difference is expected to narrow from the $6/b average price difference seen in the fourth quarter of 2017 because current constraints on the capacity to transport crude oil from the Cushing, OK storage hub (the geographic location associated with the WTI price) to the U.S. Gulf Coast are expected to gradually lessen. 


Federal Move Could Unlock 65 Billion Barrels of Oil Equivalent

A proposal by the Trump administration to make nearly all offshore areas in the U.S. available for oil and gas exploration drilling could attract billions of dollars of investment and potentially unlock up to 65 billion barrels of oil equivalent (boe), according to Rystad Energy.

This figure excludes resource potential from western and central areas of the Gulf of Mexico – both coastal and deep waters. It includes, however, the eastern part of the Gulf, which is currently under congressional moratorium until the end of June 2022. 

Fourth Quarter Saw Strong Global Chemicals Production

Data collected and tabulated by the American Chemistry Council (ACC) shows that growth in global chemistry during November was buoyed by a synchronized up-swing in the global economy. Global chemicals production rose 0.6% in November, following a 0.5% gain in October. During November, production gains were broad-based with all regions growing. The Global Chemical Production Regional Index was up 3.1% year-over-year on a three-month moving average basis and stood at 112.4% of its average 2012 levels in November.

During November, capacity utilization in the global business of chemistry gained 0.4% to 81.0%. This is up from 80.3% last November but is below the long-term (1987-2016) average of 88.8%. 

$1.4B Natural Gas Pipeline Proposed Between MT & KS

ONEOK, Inc. plans to invest approximately $1.4 billion to construct a new pipeline, and related infrastructure, to transport natural gas liquids (NGLs) from the Rocky Mountain region to the company's existing Mid-Continent NGL facilities.

The Elk Creek Pipeline – an approximately 900-mile, 20-inch diameter pipeline that is expected to be completed by the end of 2019 – will have the capacity to transport up to 240,000 barrels per day (bpd) of unfractionated NGLs from near the company's Riverview terminal in eastern Montana to Bushton, KS. The Elk Creek Pipeline is expected to cost approximately $1.2 billion, with related infrastructure costs expected to total approximately $200 million. The pipeline will have the capability to be expanded to 400,000 bpd with additional pump facilities. 

Construction Index Increases 10.7% in 2017

For the full year 2017, the Dodge Momentum Index averaged 132.3, up 10.7% from the full year average for 2016, with similar improvement for the commercial sector (up 11.4%) and the institutional sector (up 9.7%). After retreating during the third quarter of 2017, the Momentum Index regained its upward track in the fourth quarter, which enabled December’s reading for the Momentum Index to be up 20.9% compared to the same month a year ago. The continued strengthening by the Momentum Index in 2017 suggests that nonresidential building construction activity will advance further during 2018. 

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