Billions of dollars of flow control and treatment equipment will be purchased by the oil, gas and refining industries in the next 12 months. These projects are identified in N049 Oil, Gas, Shale and Refining Markets and Projects.
The low oil prices have greatly reduced capital spending. However, there are still major segments of the market which are as active as ever. In some cases, the slowdown has created new markets. The reduction in drilling means that producers no longer have a route for returning produced water. This has caused an uptick in orders for zero liquid discharge (ZLD) systems.
Source: McIlvaine Company
Producers are looking for ways to stay competitive at these lower prices. Linde has one solution. Its new mobile gas cleanup unit (MGCU) uses a novel membrane technology to remove up to 98 percent of the CO2 in the production stream. It was designed to improve well economics, with an emphasis on the 3 E s: Enhanced productivity or Estimated Ultimate Recovery (EUR), Environmental footprint reduction, and improved Economics of the field.
While deep sea and tar sand investment will be negligible, Chinese coal-to-chemicals and fuels is booming. Air Products just received an order for its membrane separators for the Shenhua Ningxia coal-to-liquids project. A $20 billion pipeline is now being built to move gasified coal from northern China to cities throughout the country.
The Chinese have successfully converted coal-to-olefins at a cost of $20 to $25 per ton. China has 10.1 billion pounds of coal-to-olefins plants in operation, 15.3 billion pounds under construction to be completed over the next two years and a further 33.1 billion pounds in planning. Forty percent of olefin production in China could come from unconventional feedstocks like methanol, coal and propane dehydrogenation by 2020.
Petrochemicals expansion in the U.S. is continuing and may even accelerate with the recent FERC decision not to authorize the Jordan Cove pipeline which would have provided an export route. Shell Chemical just broke ground on a $717 million expansion of its linear alpha olefins manufacturing plant in Geismar, LA. The project will make Shell Chemical s Geismar location the largest single-site producer of alpha olefins in the world. The three-year project will culminate with Shell Chemical beginning operation of the new manufacturing plant in early 2018.