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Jacobs Olefins Database

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The Jacobs Olefins Database is a client/server application that reports on current and historical data about U.S. steam cracker operations. It provides a factual, detailed basis for the United States market-level planning needs of gas liquids sellers, olefins producers, and olefins buyers.

The database contains actual data on operations, downtimes, and feedstocks by month since January 1988. It provides state-of-the-art tools to generate updated standard or custom reports and interface with other languages or applications. The user has complete control on selecting the unit groupings, market locations, reporting period, frequency, feed capabilities, etc., for reliable and flexible analysis.

The Power of Analysis
Quick, reliable analyses can be a simple matter of generating standard or custom reports. Users can select periods, frequency, feed capabilities (inclusive), tables or graphs. Comparing results for units, companies, locations, and markets enables questions like the following to be answered:

  • Has feed consumption and feedslate percentage changed over time?
  • What are the differences among physical markets? Locations? Types of crackers?
  • What have been the practical minimums/maximums for one month, quarter, or year?
  • How have low or high inventories of various olefins affected olefin prices? Cracking costs? Feedstock prices? Actual changes in operations?
  • What are the timing delays and duration of reactions? Do markets/types/companies respond differently?
  • What has been the norm and the range of offline time? By type of downtime?
  • How do periods of high- or low-effective operating rates affect operations?
  • What are the trigger points in operating rates for steam crackers that lead to high or low profits? Have these trigger points changed over time? Are they different for different markets? When are effective operating rates (percent of capability, not capacity) more important?
  • Which operations have been more stable and which more volatile?
  • How are operations affected by events such as strong prices, hurricane threats, floods, freezes, or varying prices for feedstocks?

Key Features of the Database
Monthly operating data are generated through our monthly surveys of each company by unit, in continuance of The Hodson Report.

Historical data by month are based on source survey records from which text and tables of The Hodson Report were compiled. This information has been tested and corrected through a rigorous validation process. The result is a uniquely clean, complete, and consistent set of operating information that is of superior quality to any data previously or currently available.

Every unit outage has been logged, tested against operating data for each month, and classified by category and type. Categories include:

  • Elective downtimes/reductions
  • Planned turnarounds
  • Mechanical outages
  • Weather-related outages

A record is maintained of each outage for each month, with days down and percent offline for each unit.

Each facility is detailed with capacity each month, current furnace technology (survey-confirmed), unit identification, location, and feedstock capabilities. Each is assigned to a practical, physical market:

  • U.S. Gulf Coast, Texas System (Corpus Christi to Lake Charles, LA)
  • U.S. Gulf Coast, East of Lake Charles (the Mississippi River Market)
  • U.S. Gulf Coast, Inland
  • U.S. East Coast/Midwest

Fundamental supply/demand balances for U.S. olefins are reconciled to government-reported trade and the National Petrochemical and Refiners Association(NPRA) surveyed total production and stocks, from which apparent consumption is calculated. Monthly production from sources other than steam crackers and monthly inventory changes are interpolated from NPRA quarterly surveys to estimate monthly supply/demand data consistent with monthly operating data.

Monthly records from our petrochemical services are included for gas liquids and heavy feedstocks prices, ethylene costs of production, and olefin prices.

For more information, please contact us.



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