Chemical Industry Wave

95% of the chemicals manufactured today are based on either oil or natural gas. For some chemicals, oil or natural gas can comprise 80% of the cost to produce as they are both the raw material and the energy source. In response to the shale gas tsunami, companies such as Dow Chemical, Shell Chemical, Westlake, Lyondellbasell and others are investing billions in new chemical plants. 

The American Chemistry Council calculates that nearly 100 chemical industry investments valued at $71.7 billion have been announced through the end of March 2013. They also estimate that roughly half the investments to date are from firms based outside of the U.S. The U.S. shale gas tsunami is understood by the chemical industry, and especially by foreign companies, represented by the billions invested. This creates a wave of opportunity for manufacturing companies who provide the reactors, separation columns, control systems and other specialty equipment for the chemical industry.  

The next and even bigger wave will be from the four fold price reduction caused by shale gas passing through the chemical industry. In Shale gas: Reshaping the US chemicals industry, a October 2012 PwC white paper in which TopLine Analytics was a contributing author, we examined the economics of ethylene. The chart below illustrates the dramatic impact on ethylene economics. Considering that ethylene is the number one chemical globally, the effects will be widespread. 

These conclusions were confirmed by the American Chemistry Council in their May 2013 report: Shale gas, Competitiveness, and New US Chemical Industry Investment: An Analysis Based on Announced Projects. The ACC chart on ethylene production costs, displayed below, confirms the dramatic shift in U.S. economics from 2005 to 2012.  In these few years the U.S. has moved from the high cost producer to low cost producer, now with essentially Middle East cost economics. 

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Events and News

Oil and Gas Investors Summit


We will be presenting at the Oil and Gas Investors Summit in London June 16-19th 




We will be preseting on April 10th in Atlantic City at Globalcon join us 


Marcellus to Manufacturing


We will be presenting at the 3rd Annual Marcellus to Manufacturing conference on March 26th-27th in Charleston WV



The State Journal


Quotes from our presentation at InformEx 2014 download


InformEx 2014


TopLine Analytics presention at the Speciality and Fine Chemicals conference Informex 2014 in Miami: download


Canton Repository Article


Quotes from the Utica 2014 Manufacturing Summit: download


Utica 2104 Manufacturing Summit


TopLine Analytics presented Shale gas revolution to Chemical Renaissance to Manufacturing renewal on October 23 in Canton Ohio: download 


Brazilian Cracker in Marcellus


In a Environment and Energy article our views on a Brazilian ethane cracker located in the Marcellus: dowload


Business Journal Interview


In a cover story Aug 2013 article A chemical revolution that will shock the world interviewed TopLine Analytics download


White Paper with PricewaterhouseCoopers

TopLine Analytics is contributing author to the Shale gas: Reshaping the US chemicals industry. The paper has been carried or quoted in over 2 dozen publications: contact


Shale Petrochemical Manufacturing Summit


TopLine Analytics participated in a panel discussion and presented  Innovations in Shale Gas Demand at the November 7-9th Conference in Philadelphia PA: download


White Paper on Shale gas tsunami


What is the shale gas tsunami, how does it impact US manufacturing and what are manufacturing leaders doing to prepare: download