August 2018

Columns

Viewpoint: The need for change—Why the industry is looking at crude-to-chemicals

As the world’s population increases and living standards continue to improve, the demand for energy and chemicals is stronger than ever before.

Birdsall, C., ExxonMobil

As the world’s population increases and living standards continue to improve, the demand for energy and chemicals is stronger than ever before. Global demand for chemicals is expected to outpace global gross domestic product (GDP) by nearly 40% over the next 10 yr (FIG. 1). FIG. 1. Global chemical demand growth is forecast to outpace GDP and energy demand. Source: IHS, ExxonMobil 2018 Outlook for Energy, ExxonMobil estimates. The surge in global chemical demand is driven by the increase in the middle class population. According to The Brookings Institution, the number of people who earn enough to be considered middle class will increase by more

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