The chemical industry had adapted to crude oil prices that had been fairly stable at around $100-110/bbl since early 2011, so the rapid slide in prices in Q4 2014 and into this year has caused much heart searching in the industry. The USA and the Middle East had enjoyed a huge advantage of low ethane costs which has now been reduced. The competitiveness of naphtha crackers relative to ethane cracking has been improved. What will be the repercussions of the change in price relationships between chemical feedstocks?
In a paper presented at the end of January, Charles Fryer analyses the likely impact on the chemical industry. What are the positive and negative aspects coming from lowered liquid feedstocks costs? Can naphtha crackers now compete head to head with ethane crackers? Will propylene production improve as naphtha cracker operating rates rise, to the point of making some propane dehydrogenation plant projects redundant? Will new balances arise in inter-plastic and inter-fibre competition? Charles makes his analysis and presents his views on who are the winners and the losers from the new feedstock paradigm.The Impact of Falling Crude Oil Prices on Chemical Building Blocks.
Tecnon OrbiChem will follow up on this presentation in a Chemical Marketing Seminar at the Asia Petrochemical Industry Conference (APIC) on 7-8 May 2015 in Seoul, Korea.