Appropriate pricing has emerged as a key strategy for players looking to establish a strong foothold in the global natural gas liquids (NGL) market, says Transparency Market Research (TMR) in a recently published report. Not a single company held a discernibly high share in the highly fragmented vendor landscape of the global NGL market. Nevertheless, the most prominent companies are aiming for competitiveness by reducing their overall operating costs and turnover time. The degree of competition is, therefore, forecasted by TMR to remain high through the forecast period from 2016 to 2024.
In North America however SM Energy has emerged as one of the leading NGL exploration and production companies. Besides this Swift Energy Company, Linn Energy, LLC, and Chesapeake Energy Corporation exhibits a strong presence in the U.S. British Petroleum plc has also registered a strong presence in the global market with its strong presence across 30 countries worldwide.
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Rising Applications in Petrochemical Industry Create Attractive Opportunities for NGL Sales
The increasing use of natural gas liquids for application in the petrochemical industry has been pivotal in fuelling NGL sales. Natural gas liquids such as propane, butane, ethane, and isobutene are primarily used as feedstock in the petrochemical industry. Despite the reducing cost of natural gas, the cost of NGL is forecasted to remain high during the forecast period.
On the contrary, the declining costs of crude oil pose major challenge in front of the market. This lower crude oil price is expected to reduce the cost of naphtha, which is a petroleum by-product. Due to its low cost, naphtha is seen to replace ethane in a few petrochemical applications, thus creating major hindrance for the NGL market. “However the price of crude oil is expected to normalize in the next few years, thus creating opportunities for growth of the NGL market,” said a lead analyst at TMR.
Furthermore, the prices of natural gas are expected to fall in the next few years. This trend is likely to continue through the forecast period. “Lower price of natural due to oversupply and weakening demand, will subsequently bolster prospects for NGL sale in the near future,” said a TMR analyst.
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Regionally, North America and the Middle East exhibit the most lucrative prospects for the enterprises engaged in NGL production and exploration. While the Middle East accounted for the largest share in the global market in 2015, North America is likely to exhibit the highest CAGR during the forecast period.
The Middle East presently accounts for approximately 40% of the proven reserves of natural gas globally. The region is further gaining from the rapid industrialization witnessed in Qatar, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE. As per TMR, the Middle East NGL market will reach 5,468.9 kilo barrels/day by the end of 2024 from 2,909.2 kilo barrels/day in 2014. Likewise in North America, Canada and the U.S. are exhibiting the most attractive opportunities for the companies. The increasing production and processing capacities in Asia Pacific economies such as India, China, Australia, and Indonesia are also expected to boost prospects for NGL sales.
NGL Demand to Increase with Rising Applications across Diverse Economic Sectors
Based on type, normal butane, isobutene, pentanes plus, propane, and ethane constitute the key segments in the global NGL market. Of these, ethane dominated the market with a share of 45% in 2014. The market is also expected to gain from the rising application of propane as a green fuel in residential, industrial, commercial, transportation, and chemicals and refinery sectors. By application, the petrochemicals industry is likely to exhibit the highest demand for natural gas liquids. The segment accounted for a dominant share of 55% in the market in 2014, followed by the space heating segment.
Transparency Market Research projects the global natural gas liquids market to reach 14,806.59 kilo barrels/day by the end of 2024 from 7,982.63 kilo barrels/day in 2015. If this holds true, the market will report a strong 7.16% CAGR from 2016 to 2024.
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