I’m pretty sure a $30 billion boom in any other industry would be front page news, yet I had to dig to page B6 of the WSJ to find this story (yes I still get the paper one). It is related to the boom in midstream and downstream (particularly petrochemical) investment and the infrastructure needs to support it.
Media outlets continue to focus on oil prices and upstream woes. Don’t get me wrong, our industry hinges on the price of oil and gas. However, this exacerbates the general lack of understanding of the complexity of the oil and gas industry.
In our training sessions often have to point out opportunities happening beyond upstream oil and gas, even to experienced industry folks. I guess the wildcatting mystique casts a long shadow over those more mundane midstream and downstream segments that crank out billions in profits each year and often benefit from lower oil prices.
Midstream and Downstream Investment Surges
It has been estimated that around $90 billion in investments are planned or underway in the Gulf Coast region alone.
While different types of projects have been challenged by the current market prices, such as Sasol’s decision to scrap a gas-to-liquids expansion in Louisiana, many large projects are moving forward.
As John LaRue, Executive Director of the Port of Corpus Christi, stated in this WSJ article, “A 40% plunge in the price of crude hasn’t dented traffic.” The port is expanding to handle the volumes and often has a line of tankers waiting their turn.
If riding the wave of oil prices up and down isn’t for you, plenty of opportunities are waiting for you in these more stable segments of the industry.
Related Article: Upstream vs. Downstream
Read more about the difference between Upstream and Downstream segments of the oil and gas industry.
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