The shale gas advantage of North American petrochemical majors provides a boost for investments in the region, primarily in the U.S., says GlobalData, a data and analytics company. However, the oil price crash narrowed this advantage and is likely to affect profitability. North American petrochem majors that strive to pace investments efficiently, in line with market trends, will boost their competitiveness and seize further opportunities for growth over the long-term, says GlobalData.
On Dec. 28, Roush alerted its customers and the propane industry that the Alternative Fuel Tax Credit was approved for 2021. On Sunday night, Dec. 27, President Trump signed the FY 2021 Omnibus Spending Bill combined with the COVID Stimulus measures.
The American Petroleum Institute (API) on Dec. 23 welcomed the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) final decision to retain the existing ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS). EPA is required to review the standards every five years under the Clean Air Act. The decision follows the EPA’s review of scientific evidence and public health assessments that found the existing standards protect the public while supporting a downward trend in U.S. emissions and cleaner air quality.

 

Howard Energy Partners (San Antonio, Texas) revealed Dec. 29 that it has executed an agreement with a subsidiary of MPLX LP to purchase the Javelina Facility located in Corpus Christi, Texas. Javelina is a treating and fractionation plant that extracts olefins, hydrogen, and natural gas liquids (NGLs) from the gas streams produced by local refineries, creating purity products that are then sold to local markets on behalf of its refiner-customers.
According to the most recent Baker Hughes Rig Count, released Dec. 23, the U.S. Rig Count added two rigs to the previous week’s total to reach 348 rigs. Oil rigs rose by one to 264, gas rigs added two to 83, and miscellaneous rigs declined by one for a total of one.

The U.S. rig count was down 457 rigs from last year's count of 805, with oil rigs off by 413, gas rigs down 42, and miscellaneous rigs off by two.
The U.S. offshore rig count added one to total 17, but is down by six year-over-year.
According to Rystad Energy (Oslo, Norway), the COVID-19 pandemic has devastated crude and condensate demand in 2021, creating massive supply surpluses and filling up inventories, causing producers to slash output in order to keep prices at somewhat profitable levels. The independent energy research and business intelligence company’s latest balances, however, show that 2021 could offer producers a window of opportunity, as monthly supply deficits may reach their highest level in years.
The Environmental Partnership Dec. 16 announced the launch of its latest performance program, which is focused on reducing flaring in upstream operations. The flare management program expands on The Environmental Partnership’s core mission, which recently added midstream operations and represents more than 70% of total onshore U.S.
Offen Petroleum (Commerce City, Colo.) announced Dec. 15 that it has acquired the business assets of Ozark Mountain Energy, a motor fuel distributor, and Petroleum Express, its affiliate trucking company, both based in Mt. Vernon, Mo. Offen is a provider of motor fuel, lubricants, and petroleum logistics services in Colorado and 15 surrounding states. The acquisition further expands Offen's footprint into the Mid-Continent and Midwestern states.
On Dec. 17, American Petroleum Institute (API) president and CEO Mike Sommers issued the following statement regarding reports of President-elect Biden’s nominees for the Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Interior, and Department of Energy.
Matrix Capital Markets Group Inc., an independent investment bank, announced Dec. 21 that Tri Gas & Oil Co. Inc. and Comfort Plus Services LLC has acquired a leading Delmarva Peninsula-based refined fuels distributor and HVAC services business. The seller is undisclosed. Tri Gas & Oil, and its predecessor entities, have been delivering fuel and providing customer service throughout the Delmarva Peninsula since the late 1950s.
Canada’s primary underground propane inventories fell by 4.5% in November to start December at 2307.4 Mcm, the equivalent of 14.5 MMbbl, according to the Canada Energy Regulator (CER). The total represented a minor month-to-month decrease of 108.4 Mcm. Compared to a year earlier, stocks were up markedly, with 1254.0 Mcm, or 119.0%, more product on hand.
According to the most recent Baker Hughes Rig Count released Dec. 18, the U.S. Rig Count added eight rigs to the previous week’s total to reach 346 rigs. Oil rigs were up by five to 263, gas rigs rose by two to 81, and miscellaneous rigs were higher by one to total two.

The U.S. rig count was down 467 rigs from last year's count of 813, with oil rigs off by 422, gas rigs down 44, and miscellaneous rigs off by one.
The U.S. offshore rig count rose by three to 16, but is down by eight year-over-year.
Alliance AutoGas (AAG; Asheville, N.C.), a national coalition of businesses providing the fuel, technology, and ongoing support to autogas fleets across the country, and Northeast Tennessee Rural Public Transportation (NET Trans) recently received the 2020 Tennessee Sustainable Transportation Award for their joint efforts in improving the air quality in Eastern Tennessee.
During the latest mid-month period, posted prices at Mont Belvieu strengthened by nearly 7 cents/gal., while spot prices rose just under 4 cents. Group 140, Conway, Kan., postings ended with a 5.53-cent gain and spots pushed up 7.625 cents over the month.
WPN Mt Belvieu Mid month propane price Graph 121720
The American Petroleum Institute (API) Dec. 9 issued a statement welcoming the finalization of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) rule about “Increasing Consistency and Transparency in Considering Benefits and Costs in the Clean Air Act Rulemaking Process.” The final rule offers a consistent process to calculate benefits and costs and supports greater transparency in rulemaking.
Crude oil prices appear to be on the upswing, with the front-month futures price for Brent crude oil settling at $48.71/bbl on Dec. 3, an increase of $9.74/bbl from Nov. 2. The front-month futures price for West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil for delivery at Cushing, Okla., rose by $8.83/bbl during the same period, settling at $45.64/bbl.
According to the most recent Baker Hughes Rig Count released Dec. 11, the U.S. Rig Count added 15 to the previous week’s total to hit 338 rigs. Oil rigs were up by 12 to 258, gas rigs rose by four to 79, and miscellaneous rigs were off by one to one.

The U.S. rig count was down 461 rigs from last year's count of 799, with oil rigs off by 409, gas rigs down 50, and miscellaneous rigs down two.
The U.S. offshore rig count was unchanged at 13, but down by 10 year-over-year.