Recent Reads for 5/12/2016

U.S. refiners tighten belts as golden era fades – “We are going to have a prolonged period where the refiners can meet the sum of domestic and international demand without expansion…”  Reuters

The Unloved Business That’s Saved Big Oil From Low Energy Prices – … with most major oil companies losing money in their production and exploration units, petrochemicals have become one of the biggest… sources of income… cheap energy translates into cheap raw materials and higher margins… companies like Shell and Exxon have invested in new plants to profit from the abundance of… ethane. Rather than consume more expensive refined products such as naphtha as feedstock for petrochemicals, they’re using cheaper ethane directly.  Bloomberg

EIA sees Brent oil prices rebounding to $76/barrel in 2017  Reuters

A Cellulosic Ethanol Milestone – It would appear that most of the current cellulosic ethanol production is coming from POET and DuPont.  Forbes

Top 50 U.S. chemical producers of 2015 – The merger and acquisition frenzy won’t abate anytime soon, according to Scott Kleinman, lead partner at the private equity firm Apollo Global Management… Kleinman sees the corporate restructuring trend continuing, driven in part by activist investors. In addition, slow economic growth in the U.S. and Europe means companies must look to mergers and acquisitions to expand sales and profits, he pointed out… “I think you are going to see deals you thought would never happen happen this year…” C&EN

The future of low-cost solar cells  C&EN