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What's Keeping Chemical CEOs Up At Night

November 10, 2014 11:53 am | by Stefan Guertzgen, Senior Director of Chemicals, SAP | Blogs | Comments

With the chemical industry back in the game, so to speak, executives can finally start to relax and enjoy the ride, right? Wrong. A new threat is looming on the horizon with the potential to seriously jeopardize projects and the progress of the industry as a whole. The issue: the limited supply of skilled labor.

Chemicals mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activity in the fourth quarter of 2013 saw a large uptick that helped level off 2013 overall deal volume and value, largely in part due to divestitures and mega deals – those valued at more than $1 billion, accordi

Global Chemicals Industry Continues Strong In Q3

November 10, 2014 11:28 am | Articles | Comments

Although deal volume has decreased, value in the third quarter was at its highest since early 2011, hitting an average of $756 million. This heightened value was aided by the nine mega-deals that took place this quarter, including the $6.3 billion acquisition of Rockwood Holdings by Albemarle Corporation.

Shell Purchases Former Zinc Plant

November 10, 2014 11:24 am | News | Comments

Shell hasn't formally committed to building the plant, which would convert ethane from Marcellus Shale natural gas liquids into chemicals used to make plastics, tires and even antifreeze, so a timeline for the conversion and operational start remains undefined.

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North Dakota Refinery Production Green-Lighted

November 10, 2014 11:05 am | News | Comments

The refinery will help meet the need for diesel fuel in the booming western oil patch. About 90 people will work there full time, turning 20,000 barrels of crude from the rich Bakken and Three Forks formations in western North Dakota into 7,000 barrels of fuel each day.

Showdown Looms As California Mandates Pesticides For Organic Growers

November 10, 2014 11:01 am | by Ellen Knickmeyer, AP | News | Comments

With organic food growers reporting double-digit growth in U.S. sales each year - $35 billion annually - producers are challenging a proposed California program with a pesticide-heavy approach, including the spraying of organic crops in order to fight a pest that has cost other states billions of dollars.

Hundreds Of Kids Poisoned By Detergent Pods

November 10, 2014 10:50 am | by Lindsey Tanner, AP | News | Comments

Accidental poisonings from squishy laundry detergent packets mistaken for toys or candy have resulted in coma and seizures for many children. There have been more than 17,000 poison center calls related to the products over the last two years.

Shell Takes On New Mexico County Over Country's First Drilling Ban

November 7, 2014 11:53 am | News | Comments

Attorneys for SWEPI, a subsidiary of Shell, said the measure effectively destroyed the value of the company's $1 million drilling leases. Mora County wants a trial so it can present evidence on why the commission adopted the ordinance - to protect its land and water.

Labor Department Suing For Steelworker Pension Funds

November 7, 2014 11:38 am | by Matt Stroud, AP | News | Comments

The federal labor department is suing to protect West Virginia steelworkers who may have lost more than $31 million in retirement savings because investment managers failed to properly oversee the plan. The lawsuit says investment managers hired by the company made no effort to diversify the accounts.

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Sunoco Investing $2.5 Billion In Gas Pipeline

November 7, 2014 11:32 am | News | Comments

The 350-mile Mariner East 2 pipeline would provide four times the capacity to move gas from Marcellus Shale drilling sites in western Pennsylvania to its Marcus Hook storage and distribution facility near Philadelphia.          

Profitability Through Supply Chain Excellence: Chemicals Business

November 6, 2014 4:24 pm | by Laura Rokohl | Articles | Comments

Specialty chemicals companies today face numerous uncertainties and constantly navigate internal and external business variables, but sophisticated software systems are available to drive supply chain excellence and to align people and processes.

CLP: The Perfect Storm Of Compliance

November 6, 2014 2:10 pm | by Neil Gleghorn, CEO of Kallik | Blogs | Comments

The chemicals sector is no stranger to radical change, but the Classification, Labeling and Packaging EU regulation, which is meant to align with GHS and REACH on June 1, 2015 introduces a whole new set of criteria for warning users of Physical (explosives, flammable gas, etc.), Health and Environmental Hazards.

Vertellus Announces Purchase Of Pentagon Chemicals

November 6, 2014 11:57 am | News | Comments

Vertellus, the world’s leading producer of pyridine and pyridine derivative chemicals, has announced that it has purchased Pentagon Chemicals, a leading manufacturer of fine and specialty chemicals used in the life sciences industry. The acquisition significantly expands Vertellus’ manufacturing presence in the agro-chemical and pharmaceutical sector.

Texas Voters Say No To Fracking - Energy Group Goes To Court

November 6, 2014 11:49 am | by Emily Schmall, AP | News | Comments

A North Texas city that sits atop a natural gas reserve is preparing for an extended court battle after voters made it the first in the state to ban further hydraulic fracturing. An industry group and the state's little-known but powerful General Land Office responded by seeking an injunction to stop it from being enforced. Battling the fracking ban will be Texas Land Commissioner-elect George P. Bush.

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Owner Won't Retrieve 29 Killed In Mine Explosion

November 6, 2014 11:32 am | by Nick Perry, AP | News | Comments

Solid Energy issued a statement saying the company was unable to come up with a safe re-entry plan. A government investigation found Pike River Coal ignored 21 warnings that methane gas had accumulated to explosive levels in the mine.     

GOP Eager To Move On Keystone XL

November 6, 2014 11:23 am | by Donna Cassata, AP | News | Comments

Republicans' resounding victory gives them an opportunity to push legislation that's been bottled up in the Democratic Senate, from targeting elements of President Barack Obama's healthcare law to constructing the Keystone XL oil pipeline to rolling back environmental regulations.

IHS: Mexican Reforms Could Attract Petrochemical Investment

November 5, 2014 2:37 pm | News | Comments

Recent changes to Mexico’s hydrocarbon laws are opening doors for private oil and gas investment, which is expected to secure more competitive feedstocks for expanded petrochemicals production. It will also allow for cheaper electricity, which will help improve the country’s competitiveness.

Colder Winter Leads To Higher CO2 Emissions Forecast

November 5, 2014 2:25 pm | News | Comments

Energy-related CO2 emissions can be driven by economic and efficiency trends and changes in the fuel mix, but weather fluctuations that drive the level of energy used for both heating and cooling is also a significant factor affecting variations in fossil fuel consumption and their resulting emissions.

Texas Leads Nation In New Oil & Natural Gas Jobs

November 5, 2014 1:51 pm | News | Comments

In the past decade, growth of jobs in oil and natural gas extraction, drilling, and support activities has outpaced the national average of private sector job gains. Additionally, average wages of oil and natural gas production jobs were $108,000 in 2013.

Israel Supporting Offshore Oil And Gas Rights For Cyprus

November 5, 2014 1:22 pm | by Menelaos Hadjicostis, AP | News | Comments

Turkey doesn't recognize ethnically divided Cyprus as a sovereign state and strongly opposes its gas search, arguing that it ignores the rights of breakaway Turkish Cypriots to any mineral-generated wealth. Cyprus was split in 1974 when Turkey invaded after a coup.

Mascoma Completes Sale Of Its Yeast Business

November 4, 2014 11:12 am | by Business Wire | News | Comments

Mascoma Corporation, a leader in advanced bioconversion products, has announced that it has completed the sale of its yeast business to Lallemand Inc., a privately owned company that researches, develops, produces and markets yeasts, bacteria and related products.

Bio-Rad Paying $55M To Resolve Bribery Claims

November 4, 2014 10:49 am | by Marcy Gordon, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

Bio-Rad Laboratories Inc. has agreed to pay about $55 million to resolve U.S. authorities' allegations that it failed to prevent bribery of officials in Russia, Thailand and Vietnam and falsified records to hide the payments.     

U.S. Factory Orders Slip In September

November 4, 2014 10:24 am | by Josh Boak, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

Orders to U.S. factories declined in September, dragged by falling demand in the volatile aircraft category.                        

Taming The Complexity And Cost Of Manufacturing Operations

November 4, 2014 10:02 am | by Ralf Suerken | Articles | Comments

Not having a single picture of what’s happening on the floor — or a seamless way to connect it with processes like quoting or material planning — is one of the main reasons that being production manager at a small- or medium-sized manufacturing company is so stressful.

California Counties Take Fracking To The Booth

November 2, 2014 8:31 pm | by Ellen Knickmeyer, AP | News | Comments

Chevron, ExxonMobil and other oil companies have donated about $7 million to try to defeat the fracking bans. These measures would ban not only fracking but one of the most commonly used drilling methods in the state - steam injection. None of the three counties currently are known to host onshore fracking, which has led some to argue that the vote is no more necessary than banning ice-fishing.

Oil Company Lawsuit Bill Deemed Unconstitutional

November 2, 2014 8:20 pm | by Kevin McGill, AP | News | Comments

Judge Janice Clark's decision came a day after two of the smaller players in the suit agreed to a settlement with the New Orleans-area board, which entailed a $50,000 payment for the two Texas companies.                                      

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