2nd ICIS US Aromatics & Derivatives Conference
The new reality for aromatics feedstocks and identifying the opportunities for US market players
June 11 - 12 2014
Magnolia Hotel Houston, USA


Day 1: Wednesday, June 11, 2014

08:30 Registration and refreshments
Welcome and Chair’s Opening Remarks
Brian Balboa, Senior Editor, Manager, ICIS
09:10 Global Outlook: Forecasting the future aromatics market and evolving trade flows
  • Examining the evolution of the aromatics market and economic trends across regions to understand the key drivers and threats and impact on future supply and demand 
  • Determining percentage share in the US, Europe, South America, Asia and the Middle East and how dynamics are likely to develop
  • What is the impact of the US shale boom and growth in crude oil on other regions and what methods and feedstocks will be used for future production?
  • Will rising imports of toluene and xylene become a common trend for the US market and what does this mean for global trade flows and US production in the long term?
  • Reviewing demand trends to forecast the production and international trade of major derivatives
Karl Bartholomew, Vice President Americas, ICIS CONSULTING
09:50 Reviewing the current US aromatics market and forecasting the future outlook – Is there an aromatics opportunity in the US down the road?
  • How will the growth in US shale gas and crude oil affect market development? Is crude oil the next megatrend to drive the growth of the US market?
  • Assessing how a tight US aromatics market, decreasing fuel consumption and cheaper feedstocks will impact US global competitiveness 
  • Identifying where there will be shortages and surplus and the implications for future US BTX production and imports
  • Predicting the future markets for downstream derivatives in the US
Daniel Lippe, Managing Partner, PETRAL CONSULTING COMPANY
10:40 Morning refreshments and networking break
11:10 Panel Discussion: Evaluating the impact of the continued growth of shale gas and crude oil on the future US and global aromatics market
  • Considering the US shale gas and crude oil situations and their impact on global supply and demand for aromatics
  • In the long term will the effect of shale gas on pygas production disrupt aromatics supply and impact the US economy?
  • Determining if the impact will go beyond benzene and also reduce toluene and xylenes production – what are the implications for the US aromatics market and the gas pool?
  • Predicting the likely strategy for US imports and adoption of new technologies to balance supply and demand if the US becomes short of aromatics 
  • How will the growth in domestic crude oil continue to impact refining and subsequently benzene production?
Panellists include:
Dr Kevin Swift, Chief Economist and Managing Director, AMERICAN CHEMISRY COUNCIL
Daniel Lippe, Managing Partner, PETRAL CONSULTING COMPANY
Dr Ramanan Krishnamoorti, Chief Energy Officer, UNIVERSITY OF HOUSTON
What does the changing gasoline landscape mean for aromatics?
  • Assessing the different growth rates of gasoline and diesel globally and their impact on by-products and petrochemical demand
  • Examining how preferences and specifications for gasoline are changing and the implications of the lack of US demand on aromatics processes and benzene production
  • If decreasing demand for gasoline continues what will this mean for US aromatics demand, production and imports in the long term?

John Auers, Executive Vice President, TURNER, MASON & COMPANY

Examining the implications for US aromatics of the growth in domestic crude oil and the changes in the refining industry
  • Evaluating whether the growth in US crude oil will lead to an expansion in refineries and increased US benzene production
  • Heavy or light crude – where is the demand and what are the implications of lighter feedstocks for aromatics?
  • How will gasoline import and export be impacted and which regions will most benefit?
  • Considering whether the practicalities of changing processing equipment will deter the move to light crude
  • Forecasting how crude oil and changes in refining will impact naphtha 
John Corrigan, Vice President, BOOZ & COMPANY
Neil Earnest, President, MUSE, STANCIL & CO
13:40 Networking lunch
Spotlight on Benzene: ‘Back to the future’, how the US can recapture its global leadership in benzene markets
  • How the US lost its global market leadership in benzene production and allowed its market share to halve over the past decade to below 15%
  • Why changing demographics mean the end of China’s role as the ‘manufacturing capital of the world’ and will continue to drive reshoring of today’s over-extended supply chains back to the West
  • Why there is growing potential for increased US aromatics supply due to the continuing decline in gasoline demand, thanks to lower vehicle miles travelled and higher auto fuel efficiency
  • Why a return of oil prices to their traditional values versus natural gas could create major opportunities for new investments in benzene production


Spotlight on Styrene: The next five years – how is the market likely to evolve?
  • Examining the key factors that will determine the long term trends for styrene
  • Is the current North American cost advantage sustainable?
  • Future demand trends for major derivatives including polystyrene
  • Expansion or further consolidation – what challenges does the next decade hold for styrene?
Steve HarringtonPresidentStyrene Global Business UnitSTYROLUTION
16.00 Afternoon refreshments and networking break
Spotlight on Xylenes: Examining the latest developments in paraxylene, orthoxylene and mixed xylenes
  • Understanding the market trends for xylenes and the impact of shale gas and light crude – which regions will have the most supply and where will shortages occur?
  • Forecasting Asia’s expected consumption of mixed xylenes and how the US can maintain its role as an exporter
  • Will there be opportunities for new production facilities for xylenes in the US?
  • Reviewing the newest technologies and advances which will increase the efficiency of the paraxylene manufacturing process

Brian Balboa, Senior Editor, Manager, ICIS

Leveraging new technologies and increasing the efficiency of traditional feedstocks to improve US aromatics production
  • Outlining the options for upgrading and reengineering existing products 
  • Revealing the latest advances in technologies with the potential to enhance US aromatics production and their derivatives
  • Examining how the methylation of toluene can produce paraxylene and the potential this process has for the US aromatics market in the long term
  • Determining how the expected increase in US production of methanol will impact the aromatics market
Charlie Chou, Petrochemical Licensing Manager, GTC TECHNOLOGY
17.40 Chair's closing remarks and end of Day 1
17.45 Drinks reception

Day 2: Thursday, June 12, 2014

08:30 Registration and refreshments
Welcome and Chair’s Opening Remarks
Brian BalboaSenior Editor, ManagerICIS
Evaluating China’s coal-to-aromatics production and how this will impact the role China plays in the future global market
  • Is coal-to-aromatics a cost-effective option for production in the long term and what are the predicted volumes?
  • Identifying the other by-products this production method creates
  • Determining if this approach has viability for rapidly scaling China’s aromatics production and what the potential impact on the global market would be
  • Forecasting China’s likely production, demand trends from PTA plants and import requirements to understand the implications for the US market
Alex Yu, Senior Consultant, ICIS CONSULTING, CHINA
Examining bio-based aromatics as an alternative to traditional aromatics to meet future demand
  • Evaluating the latest bio-based developments and upcoming opportunities to identify the timeframe for their commercialization 
  • Is there enough biomass feedstock for use in the petrochemical industry?
  • Determining the potential impact of bio-based aromatics and derivatives on the future of the market 
  • Uncovering the practicalities of processing bio-based aromatics and their applications 
  • Considering the impact of bio-based fibers including PLA on paraxylene and polyester production
Kieran Furlong, Director, Chemicals, Business Development, VIRENT
10.30 Morning refreshments and networking break
The new world of aromatics demand?
  • What has changed since I established ICI’s feedstocks and aromatics trading office in Houston in 1985?
  • Why did demand take off like a NASA rocket during the mid-1980s, and why has demand growth now begun to slow?
  • How are the main regions – N America, Europe, Latin America, Asia, Middle East – positioned to compete in today’s new world?
  • What is needed to stimulate the ‘can do’ attitude that has already revived US olefin market thinking?


Examining the evolving role of Brazil as a global player in the aromatics market
  • Updating on the latest developments in petrochemical plants and refineries in Brazil and where the next investments are likely to be 
  • Examining export plans for benzene to Argentina and the implications for US imports – will this trend continue?
  • Outlining timescales for future projects, forecasted capacity, and plans to balance supply and demand for benzene

Almir Cotias Filho, Global Export Manager, Basic Petrochemicals, BRASKEM

Determining market size and segmentation by end use of Mexico's BTX and styrene markets and how this will affect the global industry
  • Assessing industry structure in Mexico – recent developments and drivers, key players, supply conditions and the evolving role of Pemex
  • Outlining Pemex fuel production conditions and their relationship with aromatics supply for the domestic market
  • Examining Mexico´s energy reform and possible implications for the aromatics market 
  • Evaluating the international trade position, the role of international traders and suppliers and the market outlook

Jorge A. Carrillo CareagaVice President of Sales for Petrochemicals, PEMEX PETROQUIMA

13:00 Chair’s closing remarks and end of conference



  • Good overview of changing dynamics and structural shifts from Tight Oil that influence aromatics future supply
    Daniel Rutherford, Global Asset Director, DOW CHEMICAL
  • Excellent
    Amadia Bustamante, Commercial Manager, PANAMERICAN CHEMICALS
  • Good platform to understand short term of mid to long term understanding of market dynamics
    ​Keshav Ruthiya, Global Category Strategist, BASF
  • Good information on supply and demand dynamics, insight into future trends
    Maruti Bhandarkar, Team Leader, Aromatics Process Engineering, CHEVRON PHILLIPS CHEMICAL
Media Partners
  • CM&E
Working With ICIS

The 2nd US Aromatics & Derivatives Conference is produced and delivered by RBI Conferences. As well as producing conferences for ICIS and other high profile brands owned by RBI, we also work with external partners and clients to deliver commercially successful events.

For more information about working with us, please contact Alan MitchellHead of Business Development, or +44 (0) 20 8652 8256.