Refining & marketing
Chemicals gloom as demand slumps
9 July 2009
The worldwide chemicals business had a rough ride in 2008 – but 2009 could prove to be worse, Martin Quinlan writes
Chemicals industry cycling down
9 July 2009
The chemicals business is well into a classic down-cycle with profitability falling fast, Martin Quinlan writes
ExxonMobil invests through the downturn for future efficiency
1 May 2009
ExxonMobil is investing in cogen power generation for its refining operations. The result is increased energy efficiency and reduced GHG emissions, writes Tom Nicholls
Tough times for US refiners
5 January 2009
Falling gasoline demand and price volatility have significantly reduced profits in the US refining sector
Refining capacity-expansion plans feel the heat
1 September 2008
As refining projects across much of the Middle East come under threat from cost inflation, Saudi Arabia seems determined to push ahead with large capacity additions, writes James Gavin
Profits off the boil
1 September 2008
The worldwide refining business is seeing margins fall as capacity bottlenecks disappear. Meeting rising diesel demand at a time of declining utilisation rates is the next challenge, Martin Quinlan writes
Uncertainty in the air
1 July 2008
With feedstock prices rising fast and growth in world demand slowing, there are warnings that start-ups of new ethylene capacity planned for the second half of this year could trip the chemicals business into a down-cycle, Martin Quinlan writes
Top of the cycle?
1 July 2008
Downstream attractions
1 June 2008
An expanding economy and efficient oil logistics – the latter a legacy of the years of state control – make Spain an attractive downstream market. Repsol YPF is making sure it will hold onto its dominant position, Martin Quinlan writes
Profits could be trimmed next year
1 August 2007
Worldwide bottlenecks in refining capacity, at a time of sharply rising demand for products, have brought strong refining margins for over three years. But there are signs that easing fundamentals could trim profits next year, Martin Quinlan writes.
Time to prepare for the downstream downturn
1 August 2007
Refining margins have recently been at all-time highs, but the industry faces much uncertainty and needs to prepare for a downturn. So says Derek Marshall, one of the heads of business development at Shell Global Solutions International. Interview by Alex Forbes
New axis drives the business
1 July 2007
The new axis linking Chinese demand with Mideast output has brought the worldwide chemicals sector to a business peak. Some forecast that it will also bring the next industry downturn, Martin Quinlan writes
Set gas free
1 May 2007