With a new year just beginning and the holiday period behind us, we begin to see industry publishers sharing their thoughts on what the new year might bring for us. The on-site machinist's work may span several different sectors – each with their own different take view of the future. Take a look at the highlights we've gathered from around the web, and make up your own mind whether 2019 will be challenging, uncertain, or be a good year that brings new opportunities.
Oil and Gas
Oilprice.com report that “The economic headwinds look much more formidable heading into next year than they did at the start of 2018.” OPEC’s attempted management of the supply glut combined with downward revisions in demand paints an uncertain picture for the future.
Every cloud has a silver lining though, as the IEA notes in their November Oil Market Report: “a deteriorating outlook for the global economy is largely offset by the fall in Brent crude oil prices.” (Oil prices fell because a worsening economy implied lower demand, but the lower prices helped keep demand more stable than expected).
See the full article here
Meanwhile, in December CNBC reported; “The ongoing plunge in oil prices shows that the market is worried about a recession in 2019” and “major benchmarks for crude oil prices have lost about 40 percent of their value in just under three months”.
Powermag.com pulled together “10 Takeaways from the IEA’s Newest World Energy Outlook”. This is not so much a forecast limited to 2019, but a longer-term look into the future. The article expands on each of the 10 takeaway points below;
- A dramatic global power supply transformation is underway.
- Costs for renewables have plunged and seamless integration of variable sources has been achieved.
- New players are providing flexibility.
- Investment in the sector is mixed
- Revenues from wholesale power markets have fallen.
- Global power demand has surged—unevenly.
- As global power suppliers face market upheaval, ownership is transforming.
- The global power sector is responding to environmental concerns.
- The future points to increased electrification and more disruptions.
- Cost competition by source and technology will ramp up.
In the nuclear sector, despite new builds continuing globally, the future looks somewhat uncertain. SP Global published an article headlined “Outlook 2019: Moment of truth nears for Europe's first EPR nuclear reactors” The article describes how Europe's first EPR nuclear reactors are finally about to become operational after years of delay and overspend. These new nuclear plant builds go against the overall longer term trend away from thermal to renewable power generation methods.
In the UK the planned new nuclear power station at Moorside (situated next to the Sellafield nuclear plant in Cumbria) is now in doubt following the withdrawal of Toshiba from the project.
Mining and Construction
Those of you who carry out machining work in the construction and mining sector may be encouraged by an article published by Market Watch. This describes how the Global Mining Equipment market is expected to grow from $96.58 billion in 2015 to reach $181.76 billion by 2022.
By application, the metal mining segment commanded the largest market share. North America is anticipated to hold the largest share in global market - due to the availability of natural gas reserves in U.S. Asia Pacific is anticipated to be one of the fastest growing regions.
Find out about Mirage’s portable line boring machines used for construction vehicle refurbishment here.
Fidelity.com report that structural changes in the PVC market are creating favourable supply/demand dynamics for some US producers. Several of the worst-polluting coal-to-acetylene-based PVC plants in China were closed. This has tightened the global supply/demand balance for PVC and caustic soda. All of this is against a backdrop of global PVC and caustic soda demand growing roughly 2% annually.
Find out about Mirage’s Flange Facing machines for the petrochemicals industry here
The international energy agency reports that between 2500 and 3000 projects globally are likely to require decommissioning between now and 2040, as offshore assets reach the end of their operational lifetimes. https://www.iea.org/weo/offshore/
The types of projects being decommissioned are also set to change. The most activities to date have involved the removal of steel platforms in shallow water, but the future will include more complex structures in deeper water. Projects of this type are ideal for Mirage decommissioning equipment - such as portable band saws, diamond wire saws and double drill units for creating lift holes.
In the UK alone, the oil and gas industry is expected to spend around £15.3bn between now and 2027 on decommissioning, with 1,465 wells set to be decommissioned during this period.
In Malaysia, as reported by theedgemarkets.com “Upstream decommissioning jobs to intensify, says Petronas in outlook report” In well abandonment activities in particular, Petronas projected the decommissioning process to be performed on around 50 wells in 2019, followed by around 40 wells in 2020 and around 60 wells in 2021. "Decommissioning in Malaysia presents an interesting growth opportunity," said the report. See the article here
Find out about Mirage’s decommissioning products here
South Korean shipbuilders are expected to continue to benefit from a growing number of liquefied natural gas (LNG) ship orders. According to data compiled by the London-based shipping group Clarkson Research - in 2019, the world’s overall LNG ship orders are likely to reach 69, rising from 65 in 2018 and 17 in 2017, More here.
Find out about Mirage’s orbital milling machines for shipbuilding projects here
Technology investments will help the wind industry add more than 680 gigawatts of capacity worldwide within the next decade. A report created by Wood Mackenzie states that the average selling price per megawatt has reduced by 28 percent since 2010, and annual energy production per megawatt reduced by 50 percent over the same period. Manufacturers of wind turbines are now focused on getting wind’s ‘levelized cost of energy’ (LCOE) to under $34 per megawatt-hour. Read more here
Find out about Mirage’s orbital milling machines designed for wind turbine manufacture here