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The Plastics Backlash has Some Oil Giants Worried

Faced with sooner than anticipated peak demand from transportation, industry, buildings and the power sector, BP Plc, Total SA and Exxon Mobil, amongst others, are investing in factories and refineries that convert fossil fuels into plastics and chemical feedstocks–a sector that is, according to the BP Energy Outlook 2019 “the single-largest projected source of oil demand growth in the next twenty years.” Indeed, the EIA expects U.S. demand for feedstock to increase from 40 million metric tons a year today to 60 million by 2040.

Pennsylvania Shell ethylene cracker plant

Royal Dutch Shell PLC is thought to have invested at least $6 billion in a chemical processing plant to produce ethane and polyethylene feedstocks in Western Pennsylvania. Similarly, Exxon Mobil plans to spend $20 billion over the next decade on a series of petrochemical complexes and refineries on the Gulf Coast. Likewise, traditional crude oil producers and refiners see a bright future in chemicals and plastics. For example, Saudi Aramco, is planning to invest some $100 billion over a decade, aiming to convert about 2-3 million barrels of crude oil per day directly into petrochemical products. Indeed, Saudi Aramco recently forked over $70 billion to acquire Sabic, a Saudi petrochemical giant, to help it become “the leader in energy and chemicals” according to Amin Nasser, Aramco CEO. Read more https://www.rigzone.com/news/the_plastics_backlash_has_some_oil_giants_worried-04-jul-2019-159224-article/

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