After a decade of lost competitiveness, the petrochemical industry is re-emerging as a growth industry

November 27, 2018

The US has become the top oil-producing country in the world, due in part to the production of giant oil companies investing heavily. US refineries are producing more fuel than before to meet rising overseas demand. The constant increase in the refining capacity is expected to further surge during the period, 2018 – 2023.

The world is witnessing a constant upward shift in United States’ traditional role in the global market as a top importer and consumer. A decade ago the US’s net fuel import was 2.3 million barrels per day (bpd), in comparison the US market is now exporting 2.5 million bpd of petroleum products to foreign markets, a record high according to the US Energy Information Administration.

While many people assume Saudi Arabia is the world’s largest oil producer, that’s no longer the case. In 2017, the US became the leading global producer of oil and other petroleum products. Overall, oil companies in the US pumped out an average of 14.5 million barrels per day (BPD), according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA). That production level accounted for 15% of the world’s total output that year, which was ahead of both Saudi Arabia (at 13%) and Russia (at 12%).

What’s unique about the oil market in America is that it isn’t dominated by one national oil company, as is the case for most of the OPEC countries (The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries). In Saudi Arabia, for example, Saudi Aramco is the nation’s sole oil company, making it the largest oil-producing company in the world. In the U.S., in contrast, hundreds of companies, including several foreign entities, operate producing wells.

Major players in the US downstream industry include Total, Sasol, Marathon Petroleum Corporation, Valero Energy Corporation, ExxonMobil Corporation, Phillips 66, Amec Foster Wheeler PLC, CB&I and Flour Corporation. These major players have had some noticeable developments in the market last year and are currently commissioning high-stake projects.

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