Lyondell is expecting to continue growing its earnings in the third quarter amid continued access to swells of cheap natural gas and natural gas liquids, which the company uses as feedstock to manufacture its chemicals.
The Michigan-based corporation with a sprawling plant in Freeport reported a strong second quarter even though its sales dropped $12.9 billion, or 13 percent, from the same time last year under pressure from a global crude slump and a strong U.S. dollar.
But falling oil prices and a strong U.S. dollar threaten earnings for several domestic chemical companies, according to an economic and ratings outlook compiled by Standard and Poor’s Ratings Services.
The global oil slump is striking the upstream sector at a critical moment for downstream companies as they scramble to address a growing problem of a lack of qualified middle-management workers rising through the ranks, according to a new analysis by executive search firm Proco Global.
Foreign investors are helping fuel the U.S. petrochemical renaissance, as overseas companies scramble to take advantage of the surge of cheap domestic natural gas, according to a new industry analysis.
The factory would produce at least 1 billion pounds (450,000 metric tons) of resin a year and would be the U.S. polypropylene industry’s first world-scale project in about 12 years, said Mark Nikolich, a vice president at Braskem.
The Houston-based company has led a wave of new U.S. facilities that make ethylene, used in plastics to polyester. Plants that use low cost gas from shale formations will help U.S. production of basic chemicals increase for the next four years, starting with a 3.1 percent rise this year and peaking at 6 percent in 2018.
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