Global Impact and Implications of Low Crude Oil Prices discusses the effects on upstream projects, refining, petrochemicals, polymers, specialty chemicals, biofuels, end-user applications, and gross domestic product of select countries. It provides a list of the top 10 things chemical companies should know, and examines how select companies have been and will be affected.
With government structural reforms expected in the short term, net oil importers China, India, and South Africa will be able to boost domestic production and consumption because of lower oil prices, the report says. This will help drive their competitiveness in the global market as well.
Japan’s domestic consumption is expected to be steady, with an expected increase in exports as overseas economies improve.
According to the report, specialty chemicals catering to the automotive and construction industries are expected to gain due to lower oil prices.
It says renewable energy opportunities will continue to flourish in Europe and North America because this space is driven more by policies and subsidies than shifts in crude oil prices alone. For instance, solar panels are becoming a significant and cheaper source of electricity in some regions of the US because of tax credits.
With oil production driving the resurgence in the US economy in the past few years, sustained low prices even in the short term are expected to negatively affect exploration and production. Domestic consumption, however, will increase as consumer spending power improves, driving transportation and residential usage.
One industry that isn’t benefiting from the plunging oil prices is the recycling industry. Crashing crude prices mean it costs less for plastics companies to use virgin plastic than recycled materials.