Benzene, cyclohexane demand plunges, while cumene, phenol thrive

By OGJ editors

HOUSTON, May 7 -- The year 2001 was one of the worst years for benzene demand, according to a recently completed Chemical Market Associates Inc. study. However, conditions are in place to reverse that trend and firm up demand within the next 4 years

Cumene and phenol, also studied by CMAI, continue to enjoy strong demand growth, while cyclohexane languishes.

Inventory destocking and the worldwide economic slowdown resulted in a 3% global contraction in demand for benzene in 2001—the first such contraction on a global basis since 1982, CMAI said. North America was hit the hardest, with a 15% demand reduction in the US.

While world trade has always been important for benzene, trade patterns are changing, CMAI said. In the past few years, large regional surpluses from Asia and elsewhere were pushed into the US market, where net benzene imports approached 1 million tonnes/year. Prior to 2001, benzene demand had been closer to 5%/year, CMAI said, but the 2001 decline in demand pulled the average down significantly so that demand growth averaged only 3.5%/year during 1996-2001.

However, benzene reductions in gasoline are essentially complete, CMAI said. Opportunities for new select toluene disproportionate investment are limited, and growth in benzene coproduct from steam crackers is slow due to a high level of new ethane-based capacity. Working from the lower 2001 base, CMAI forecasts demand to grow 4.6%/year through 2006. During that period, global balances will firm and restore some lost margin to benzene production, it said.

Cumene, phenol
CMAI said that cumene has enjoyed strong demand growth since the 1993 recession when it added 3.3 million tonnes to a 5.4 million tonne/year base.

Production of cumene has grown from 7-8 million tonnes/year to 9-10 million tonnes/year during 1996-2001, and that amount should be eclipsed during 2002-06, CMAI said.

Phenol set the pace for cumene's strong growth during1996-2001. The world continues to move in the direction of integrated cumene-phenol units, CMAI said, either through partnerships and alliances or through new integrated units. All phenol capacity that has come on stream in the past few years and that which is scheduled until 2006 will be based on growth in demand for cumene, CMAI said.

Cyclohexane
The demand growth pattern for cyclohexane seems to be coming in surges rather than steady year-on-year growth as seen with cumene and styrene, CMAI said. Cyclohexane suffered 3 consecutive years of declining demand to start the1990s, then experienced two cycles of growth through 2000, with down years interrupting the overall trend in 1998 and 2001.

Although demand for most major chemicals is forecast to grow in 2002 after a dismal 2001, cyclohexane will continue to languish, with real growth not resuming before 2003. The next major issue for cyclohexane is where to find low-cost hydrogen, as Europe and the US lower sulfur limits in gasoline and diesel and increase demand for local hydrogen.

Related Articles

BP lets contract for Belgian petrochemicals complex revamp

01/06/2015 BP Chembel NV, a wholly owned subsidiary of BP PLC, has let a contract to Jacobs Engineering Group Inc., Pasadena, Calif., to provide basic and det...

Eni, Saras strengthen integration of Sardinian processing plants

01/02/2015 Versalis SPA, the wholly owned chemicals subsidiary of Eni SPA, has entered an agreement with Saras SPA subsidiary Sarlux SRL to formalize the sale...

Williams postpones Geismar ethylene sales

12/31/2014 Williams Partners LP once again has postponed sales of ethylene production from its newly rebuilt Geismar, La., olefins plant amid ongoing efforts ...

Vietnam, Japan sign MOU for grassroots Vietnamese refinery

12/23/2014 State-run Vietnam National Petroleum Corp. (Petrolimex) and JX Nippon Oil & Energy Corp., a subsidiary of JX Holdings Inc., have signed a memor...

Sasol secures financing for Louisiana petrochemical complex

12/23/2014 Sasol Ltd. has completed a $4 billion credit facility for its proposed integrated ethane cracker and downstream derivatives complex to built adjace...

Moody's: Russian oil-tax change helps exporters

12/22/2014 A new adjustment to Russian oil and gas taxation will benefit oil companies that export most of their crude oil and high-grade oil products but hur...

IOC wraps study for petrochemical plant at Paradip

12/18/2014 Indian Oil Corp. Ltd. (IOC) has completed a detailed feasibility study for setting up a polypropylene (PP) plant as part of a proposed petrochemica...

Patel appointed as LyondellBasell’s chief executive officer

12/18/2014 LyondellBasell has chosen Bhavesh V. Patel to serve as its chief executive officer effective Jan. 12, 2015. He succeeds James L. Gallogly, who...

Construction under way for Texas ethane cracker

12/17/2014 Ingleside Ethylene LLC, a 50-50 joint venture of Occidental Chemical Corp. (OxyChem) and Mexichem SAB de CV (Mexichem), has started construction on...

White Papers

What is System Level Thermo-Fluid Analysis?

This paper will explain some of the fundamentals of System Level Thermo-Fluid Analysis and demonstrate...

Accurate Thermo-Fluid Simulation in Real Time Environments

The crux of any task undertaken in System Level Thermo-Fluid Analysis is striking a balance between ti...

6 ways for Energy, Chemical and Oil and Gas Companies to Avert the Impending Workforce Crisis

As many as half of the skilled workers in energy, chemical and oil & gas industries are quickly he...
Sponsored by

AVEVA NET Accesses and Manages the Digital Asset

Global demand for new process plants, power plants and infrastructure is increasing steadily with the ...
Sponsored by

AVEVA’s Approach for the Digital Asset

To meet the requirements for leaner project execution and more efficient operations while transferring...
Sponsored by

Diversification - the technology aspects

In tough times, businesses seek to diversify into adjacent markets or to apply their skills and resour...
Sponsored by

Engineering & Design for Lean Construction

Modern marketing rhetoric claims that, in order to cut out expensive costs and reduce risks during the...
Sponsored by

Object Lessons - Why control of engineering design at the object level is essential for efficient project execution

Whatever the task, there is usually only one way to do it right and many more to do it wrong. In the c...
Sponsored by

Available Webcasts



The Future of US Refining

When Fri, Feb 6, 2015

Oil & Gas Journal’s Feb. 6, 2015, webcast will focus on the future of US refining as various forces this year conspire to pull the industry in different directions. Lower oil prices generally reduce feedstock costs, but they have also lowered refiners’ returns, as 2015 begins with refined products priced at lows not seen in years. If lower per-barrel crude prices dampen production of lighter crudes among shale plays, what will happen to refiners’ plans to export more barrels of lighter crudes? And as always, refiners will be affected by government regulations, particularly those that suppress demand, increase costs, or limit access to markets or supply.

register:WEBCAST



On Demand

Oil & Gas Journal’s Forecast & Review/Worldwide Pipeline Construction 2015

Fri, Jan 30, 2015

The  Forecast & Review/Worldwide Pipeline Construction 2015 Webcast will address Oil & Gas Journal’s outlooks for the oil market and pipeline construction in a year of turbulence. Based on two annual special reports, the webcast will be presented by OGJ Editor Bob Tippee and OGJ Managing Editor-Technology Chris Smith.
The Forecast & Review portion of the webcast will identify forces underlying the collapse in crude oil prices and assess prospects for changes essential to recovery—all in the context of geopolitical pressures buffeting the market.

register:WEBCAST


Optimizing your asset management practices to mitigate the effects of a down market

Thu, Dec 11, 2014

The oil and gas market is in constant flux, and as the price of BOE (Barrel of Oil Equivalent) goes down it is increasingly important to optimize your asset management strategy to stay afloat.  Attend this webinar to learn how developing a solid asset management plan can help your company mitigate costs in any market.

register:WEBCAST


Parylene Conformal Coatings for the Oil & Gas Industry

Thu, Nov 20, 2014

In this concise 30-minute webinar, participants have an opportunity to learn more about how Parylene coatings are applied, their features, and the value they add to devices and components.

register:WEBCAST


Careers at TOTAL

Careers at TOTAL - Videos

More than 600 job openings are now online, watch videos and learn more!

 

Click Here to Watch

Other Oil & Gas Industry Jobs

Search More Job Listings >>
Stay Connected