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Chevron Phillips Chemical CEO: Weak Oil Won’t Stop Petrochemical Industry

“The party is not over for the chemical industry,” Peter L. Cella, president and CEO of Chevron Phillips Chemical, told an audience at the IHS 30th Annual World Petrochemical Conference. “The music may not be as loud as before, but we (petrochemical industry) are still dancing.”

According to a new study from IHS, “approximately 40 world-scale ethylene crackers will be needed to meet future olefins demand over the next 10 years; that same level of growth was previously achieved over a 17-year period. All options of olefins production (steam cracker, coal-to-olefins, methanol-to-olefins, and renewables) will be needed to meet the growing demand for olefins,” Hydrocarbon Processing reports.

SemGroup Building U.S. Gulf Coast Pipeline System

SemGroup Corporation announced plans to construct, own and operate three new pipelines in the U.S. Gulf Coast region of Louisiana, collectively named the Maurepas Pipelines. The Maurepas Pipelines will support Motiva Enterprises LLC's efforts to interconnect and optimize its refinery operations.

Expected to be operational in the fourth quarter of 2016, the project consists of a 24-inch, 34.2 mile crude oil pipeline crossing the Mississippi River and terminating at Motiva's Norco refinery; a 12-inch, 35 mile intermediates pipeline between Motiva's Norco and Convent refineries; and a 6-inch, 34 mile intermediates pipeline between Motiva's Norco and Convent refineries.

AFPM: U.S. Refiners Prepared for Expanding Crude Supply

Given the debate over domestic refiners’ ability to handle the growing U.S. oil supply, the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM) released a third-party survey of U.S. refiners. It found that U.S. refiners have more than enough processing capacity for the increased influx of light sweet crude oil over the next few years. Survey respondents represent a majority of U.S. refining capacity.

A total of 23 companies provided information on 69 refineries, representing 61% of U.S. refining capacity in 2014. The survey found that the respondents are planning to run more than 730,000 barrels per day more very light crude oil in 2016 than last year, and with more favorable access and economics, they have the capability to run 1.5 million barrels more per day of the new crude oil in 2016 than what they ran in 2014. And this does not take into consideration the plans and potential for 40% of the capacity not represented in the survey. EIA’s February forecast shows lower 48 crude production, which encompasses this light tight oil production, increasing 720,000 barrels per day – less than the respondents’ plans.

LyondellBasell to Expand TEG Production Capacity

LyondellBasell plans to expand Tri-ethylene Glycol (TEG) production capacity at the company's existing ethylene oxide and ethylene glycol plant in Pasadena, TX.

The additional capacity of 50 million pounds per year would more than double the company's current production capacity. Engineering is already underway on the new unit, which is anticipated to be operational in late 2016. It is expected to be one of the world's largest on-purpose TEG production units, meaning the TEG is produced by design and not as a by-product of another manufacturing process. 

Federal Government Unveils New Rules for Hydraulic Fracturing

Following a process that included more than 1.5 million public comments, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell released final standards for hydraulic fracturing (or “fracking”) on public and American Indian lands. The new rules update requirements for well-bore integrity, wastewater disposal and public disclosure of chemicals.

Companies must disclose chemicals used to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the public, with limited exceptions for material demonstrated through affidavit to be trade secrets.

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