Iraq - Next Petrochemicals Hot Spot?

map : http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/6804.htm

Having recently read the excellent analysis of 'The Journey of Post-War Hydrocarbon Development in Iraq' by Ann-Marie Carberry of Contax Partners, I wonder whether Iraq is a likely future hotspot for petrochemicals development.

Iraq has substantial oil reserves, together with very significant amounts of associated gas. Much of the gas is currently flared (estimates indicate that as much as 60% is flared).

Very recently, the International Energy Agency identified Iraq, UAE and Angola as centres of supply growth in oil and gas supplies.

Now the government has recognised and is fully committed to developing the oil and gas industry. This means huge new investment and a complete rebuild of the infrastructure, including ports and transportation networks.

However Iraq also has significant internal needs for petrochemicals as it rebuilds housing and other buildings destroyed during the years of conflict.  Current production capacity is limited - the Basrah Petrochemical Complex has a small cracker and associated downstream plants but there is nothing of the same scale as new plants in nearby GCC Countries.

As with other Middle Eastern countries, developing a petrochemicals industry also brings jobs - an essential requirement for post-war stability in the country.

The challenges will be significant. EPC costs will be higher due to the security risk and lack of skilled labour locally. Lack of infrastructure will make projects more difficult to implement.

However with abundant gas and a need to develop, there is clearly potential for those who wish to develop this region and market


DuPont to Design PetroRabigh Safety Strategy

photo : arabianoilandgas.com

Very encouraging to see this week's news that Petro Rabigh has engaged DuPont Sustainable Solutions (DSS) to assist it on its journey towards world class safety performance.

DSS will initially carry out a baseline audit and will then work with Petro Rabigh to define a detailed implementation plan.

DuPont has always been an acknowledged leader in safety performance and safety culture, so this engagement shows real commitment on the part of Petro Rabigh in achieving world class levels of safety.

As those with experience in the industry know very well, safety culture takes time and significant management effort to develop but understanding current performance and then implementing an action plan is a very effective means of moving forward quickly.

This blog wishes Petro Rabigh much sucess with this positive initiative.


DuPont Continues Focus on Megatrends

US Speciality Chemicals Major DuPont gave a global media briefing in late 2010 in which it announced the alignment of its strategic themes with future growth trends. These so called Megatrends are seen as the shapers for the future of the industry and DuPont wishes to be taking a leading position. The megatrends are

  • Increasing Food Production - recognising that the world's population continues to grow and needs to be fed
  • Decreasing Dependence on Fossil Fuels - recognising that fuel supplies are finite and that many individuals and nations are concerned about the potential for climate change
  • Protecting People and the Environment - recognising the need and desire to protect lives and preserve environments
  • Growth in Emerging Markets - recognising the global shift that is taking place at a very rapid pace
Having identified the trends, DuPont is then looking at how it can differentiate itself to deal with the impacts of these megatrends. This means changing the structure of the organisation through acquisition. It means product and process innovation. It means having people of the very highest calibre, who have roles and responsibilities fully aligned with this changing cororate vision.

More recently, in May 2011, DuPont concluded the acquisition of the Danish company Danisco, a company whose product range is a very neat fit with the megatrends outlined above.

For all chemicals and petrochemical producers, it is essential to understand the factors that will shape the future of the business and to plan and manage accordingly. Innovation is the key, whether this be in terms of organisation, in terms of process, in terms of product. Standing still and hoping for the best is not an option.