Last updateWed, 17 Oct 2018 3pm


Chevron Targets Houston for Second U.S. Refinery

“Chevron Corp wants to build or buy a refinery along the U.S. Gulf Coast to process crude oil from its rapidly growing Permian Basin operations,” according to Pierre Breber, Chevron’s head of downstream and chemicals.

“The company would like to have refining operations on the Houston Ship Channel, in the western part of the U.S. Gulf, to complement an existing eastern Gulf refinery in Mississippi that makes lubricants and other materials,” Reuters  reports

Global Chemicals Production Softens in August

Global chemical industry activity eased in August, according to data collected and tabulated by the American Chemistry Council (ACC). ACC’s Global Chemical Production Regional Index shows that global chemicals production fell back 0.3% in August. This follows a 0.2% gain in July, a strong second quarter, and a weak first quarter. During August, production declines were fairly steady across the board among regions but flat in North America and rising in Latin America, Africa and the Middle East. 

IEA: Energy Prices Threaten World Economy

As the oil market reaches the landmark 100 mb/d level, prices are rising steadily. Brent crude oil is now established above $80/bbl, with infrastructure constraints causing North American prices to lag somewhat. Nonetheless, the International Energy Agency (IEA) believes that expensive energy is back, with oil, gas and coal trading at multi-year highs, and it poses a threat to economic growth. For many developing countries, higher international prices coincide with currencies depreciating against the US dollar, so the threat of economic damage is more acute. The global economy is also at risk from trade disputes. 

Covestro to Expand Baytown Chemical Plant

Covestro has approved an investment of around $1.7 billion to build a new world-scale MDI plant in Baytown, TX. This investment at the existing site in Baytown is the largest single investment in the history of the company. Annual capacity of the new train will be 1.1 billion tons of methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (MDI), a base chemical for polyurethanes. Start of production is expected in 2024. 

Energy Sector Maintains Momentum in Third Quarter

U.S. energy sector activity maintained its strong momentum in third quarter 2018, according to executives responding to the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas Energy Survey. However, respondents said pipeline constraints, steel tariffs and oil price differentials could have negative effects on their business.

The business activity index dipped very slightly from 44.5 in the second quarter to 43.3 in the third but remained near the highest level since the survey began. The business activity index for oilfield services firms fell from 54.2 to 45.9, suggesting a slight deceleration in growth for those firms. Meanwhile, the business activity index for exploration and production (E&P) firms rose from 37.2 to 41.8. 

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