The chemical industry recognises that digital innovation can help it to be, and stay, competitive. And it is important for the industry to identify the key digital technology building blocks and to tap into possible shared digital benefits across industries, Arthur D Little partners Michael Kolk and Frederik van Oene said in an interview with ICIS.
Arthur D. Little says significant social and economic forces are reshaping chemical markets and creating new opportunities via portfolio and product innovation. Arthur D. Little foresees these developments leading to a chemical renaissance that will benefit global players and assets centred on North America, prompting continued restructuring and consolidation of the chemical industry.
As the largest US oil company, ExxonMobil, backed by industry groups has urged regulators to allow deep water drilling to resume in the Gulf of Mexico as pressure rises for the US to generate its own supplies following the formal moratorium lifted in October 2010 after the BP oil spill.
Sheila McNulty from the FT discusses the issue of US gas producers partnering with foreigners to join their drilling programmes on US shale fields. The article puts forward the notion that the US government should provide incentives for domestic companies to use gas to replace dirtier coal in power plants. Joe Coote is quoted as saying this is a “tremendous resource for the nation.”
Questions have been raised about the current business model for international oil companies. Dealing with increasingly complex oil fields, some have argued that IOCs can maintain competitive advantage by leveraging internal technology competence. Ben Thuriaux Aleman, Sam Salisbury and Paolo Dutto discuss in a three page contributed article.
There is a new trend named bio-economy. It is the process of substituting oil with unused parts of plants for the production of important basic chemicals. Germany is a pioneer in bio-economics and the expected potential is tremendous. In accordance with a recent Arthur D. Little study, the global production of chemicals is worth around 77 billion Euros. Arthur D. Little estimates this market will triple or even quintuple by 2025.
BIoplaStICS and – more generally – chemicals derived from biological raw materials such as wood and straw are being touted as the next big thing for the industry and its customers. Many regard the technology that will make this possible – industrial biotechnology (IB) – as a potential game-changer.
As the chemical industry looks to 2010 for better times, demand will vary significantly by end market and geographic region. Contributed article from Andy Dvorocsik.