U.S. becoming major
U.S. exports of liquefied natural gas
(LNG) reached 1.94 billion cubic feet per
day (Bcf/d) in 2017, up from 0.5 Bcf/d
in 2016. As LNG exports increased,
shipments went to more destinations.
U.S. LNG exports in 2017, all of which
originated from Louisiana’s Sabine
Pass liquefaction terminal, reached 25
countries, according to the U.S. Energy
Information Administration. (EIA).
More than half – 53 percent – of U.S.
LNG exports in 2017 were shipped to
three countries: Mexico, South Korea
and China. Mexico received the largest
amount of U.S. LNG exports, at 20
percent of the 2017 total.
Growing natural gas demand in Mexico,
particularly from the power generation
sector, and delays in the construction of
domestic pipelines connecting to U.S.
export pipelines, led Mexico to rely on
LNG imports to supplement imports
of natural gas by pipeline.
In Asia, the widening difference
between the Henry Hub natural gas price
– to which U.S. LNG contract prices are
indexed – and crude oil, to which LNG
prices are benchmarked in Asia, helped
to drive increases in LNG imports from
the United States. Exports to South
Korea accounted for 18 percent of total
U.S. LNG exports in 2017 and were part
of long-term contracts between sellers
Cheniere Energy and Shell and the Korean
natural gas buyers KOGAS and KEPCO.
Exports to China made up 15 percent
of total U.S. LNG exports, according to
EIA. These exports were sold mostly on
a spot basis, with volumes in October,
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players in the maritime logistics industry
create contracts and pay for services.
While full blockchain adoption in the
maritime logistics space is in a nascent
stage, its potential impacts on efficiency
and security are a driving force behind
many partnerships forged over the last year.
Blockchain’s integration into maritime
logistics has the potential to impact
the international economy, affecting
everyone along the global trade supply
chain — from suppliers and importers
to retailers and brands, and ultimately
(This article first appeared in CBInsights)
Butane market expected
to grow, analysts say
The global butane market stood at
about $60 billion in 2015. In volume
terms, global demand was nearly 138
million tons during the same year. This
market is anticipated to expand at more
than 2. 7 percent from 2016 to 2024,
according to market research company
Hexa Research of Felton, Calif.
An easily liquefiable gas, butane is
a highly flammable, colorless gas and
is odorless. It is a byproduct obtained
during the refining process of crude
oil. Crude oil that is extracted from
reservoirs is transported to refineries that
derive products such as jet fuel, diesel
and gasoline. It is known as normal or
n-butane when the carbon atoms are lined
in a straight chain. However, when they
are branched, the gas is called isobutane.
Robust demand for Liquid Petroleum
Gas (LPG) may favorably impact the
industry, according to a report by Hexa.
Higher standards of living and rising
disposable incomes can impel the
market until 2024. Most of the butane
manufactured globally is used in LPG.
When mixed with propane in a certain
ratio, butane is often referred to as LPG.
Governments across Asia Pacific and
Africa encourage the use of LPG. This is
done in order to reduce carbon footprints
and also to control the emission of
carbon dioxide (CO2). LPG emits close
to 33 percent less CO2 when compared
with coal. It is used primarily in residential,
commercial and agricultural applications.
It’s also used in automobiles.
A major problem facing the global
butane market is the issue of ground water
contamination. This is due to the leakage
of methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE) that over
a period of time affects ground water.
Rising health hazards because of inhalation
of butane has led to the application of rigid
regulations in the global market.
The global butane market is
categorized into applications and
regions. Based on applications,
the market is divided into refineries,
petrochemicals, LPG, and others.
Chemical and petrochemical, residential
and commercial, auto-fuel, refinery,
industrial, and others are the subsegments of LPG. With market shares
exceeding 66.6 percent, LPG led the
industry in 2015, according to Hexa.
Ongoing industry trends suggest that
residential or commercial applications
may capture more than 50 percent of the
overall market by 2025, Hexa researchers
said. Isobutane can replace hazardous
chlorofluorocarbons (CFC) that are used
extensively in products, like propellants,
deodorants and refrigerants.
The petrochemicals segment is
anticipated to register the highest
growth rate during the forecast period.
Automobile fuel may exhibit substantial
growth because of strict emission norms
and the widespread adoption of eco-
On the basis of regions, the
worldwide butane market is segmented
into North America, Central and South
America (CSA), Europe, Asia Pacific,
and Middle East and North Africa
(MENA). Asia Pacific was estimated
at more than $22 billion in 2015. It
can grow at an annual rate of 4. 2
percent through 2024, according to
Hexa. Subsidies and governmental
regulations pertaining to multiple LPG
connections will positively affect the
growth of the LPG industry, Hexa said.
Ample supply of shale gas in the
U.S. can meet the demand for natural
gas liquids, thereby stimulating the
global market. To reduce groundwater
contamination, the Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA) prohibits the
use of MTBE for blending gasoline. The
MENA butane industry contributed to
more than 18 percent of total volumes
in 2014. Greater use of LPG as a
feedstock substitute for crude oil and
natural gas in chemical industries and in
refineries can increase the demand for
butane in the region.
Butane industries in Nigeria, United
Arab Emirates (UAE), Saudi Arabia, and
Qatar may expand significantly during
the forecast period.
Prominent companies operating in
the global market are Chevron Corp.,
Exxon Mobil Corp., British Petroleum
(BP), and ConocoPhillips Inc. These
industry participants “give a lot of
importance to the development of
bio-based alternatives for producing
niche products. They also lay emphasis
on product innovation as a means
to gain a higher market share,”
according to Hexa.