The U.S. shale-gas boom is placing 30 million jobs at risk in Europe as companies with greater reliance on energy contend with higher fuel prices than their American counterparts, the International Energy Agency said.
Manufacturers of petrochemicals, aluminum, fertilizers and plastics are leaving Europe to take advantage of booming U.S. production of natural gas from shale rock formations, Fatih Birol, chief economist for the International Energy Agency, a Paris-based adviser to 29 nations, said at a conference in London today.
"Many petrochemicals companies in central Europe are moving out," Birol said. "Thirty million jobs are in danger."
The U.S. has become the world's largest producer of oil and gas as hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling help producers extract resources from shale rock. The country's refineries processed a record volume of crude last week as plants took advantage of cheaper domestic crudes. Chemical makers from Germany's BASF SE to Brazil's Braskem SA plan to invest as much as $72 billion in U.S. plants to take advantage of low-cost natural gas feedstock.
West Texas Intermediate crude traded at a discount of $5.85 a barrel to European benchmark Brent at 5:43 p.m. on the ICE Futures Europe exchange in London. U.S. August natural gas futures traded for $3.96 per million British thermal units on the New York Mercantile Exchange, compared with $6.49/MMBtu for the equivalent U.K. contract on ICE in London.
U.S. refineries are competing for market share and benefiting from margins that exceed those of European competitors by as much as $10 a barrel because of cheaper crude, Hermes Commodities said in a report today.
|November, 17, 19:55:00|
|November, 17, 19:50:00|
|November, 17, 19:45:00|
|November, 17, 19:40:00|
|November, 17, 19:35:00|
|November, 17, 19:30:00|
REUTERS - Brent crude futures LCOc1 were down 72 cents at $61.49 per barrel at 1020 GMT, having fallen by 1.5 percent on Tuesday, its largest one-day drop in a month. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude CLc1 was at $55.12 per barrel, down 58 cents.
BLOOMBERG - Prices dropped during the session as the International Energy Agency said the recent recovery in oil prices, coupled with milder-than-normal winter weather, is slowing demand growth. The worsening outlook for consumption dampened some of the enthusiasm that OPEC and its allies will extend supply curbs.
Global energy needs rise more slowly than in the past but still expand by 30% between today and 2040. This is the equivalent of adding another China and India to today’s global demand.
Product exports have grown significantly over the past several years and are expected to continue to grow as Russian refineries add capacity to produce more high-quality products.