Reality Check for Global NGL Demand

OilVoice:
Global investment in ethane crackers and other olefins units will lead to overcapacity and intensifying inter-fuel competition in the NGL and naphtha markets, according to ESAI Energy’s newly published Global NGL Five Year Outlook. As ESAI Energy describes, announced projects include a potential 58 million tons of ethylene capacity, far more than global ethylene demand can plausibly grow. However, a closer look at what will pan out leads to the unmistakable conclusion that feedstock demand growth and pricing will be less bullish than many believe.

Global NGL Two-Year Outlook: Making Waves

April’s Global NGL Two-Year Outlook focuses on the naphtha and NGL markets in 2019. The outlook is for robust expansion of NGL supply. Yet, in a market prone to imbalance, the outlook for supply and demand is rather balanced. On the supply side of the ledger, the Middle East, Russia and Australia ensure another big year for NGL supply in 2019 even as growth in the Permian slows from the breakneck pace in 2018. Meanwhile, petchem investment in 2019 features more “investment waves” for NGL-fed capacity. Not only will the U.S. add more ethane crackers, but there will be another “wave” of new Chinese PDH capacity. Consequently, there will be much new petchem demand for ethane and LPG. The flurry of growth in NGLs has bearish implications for naphtha demand and pricing.