Economic Framework of Petrochemicals


Who should attend?

  • This course allows the participants to deepen their knowledge on the petrochemicals sectors and to assess the main economic challenges in these sectors.
Public :
  • All professionals wishing to improve their understanding of the functioning of petrochemicals industry.

Level : Foundation

Course Content


      • Industry fundamentals: from coal/oil/gas to petrochemicals and global/regional outlook.
      • Petrochemicals: key building blocks processes:
      • Olefins (C2, C3, C4).
      • Aromatics (benzene, paraxylene).
      • and associated traditional technologies (steamcracker, FCC, reforming…).
      • Steamcracker economics:
      • World/regional capacities.
      • Typical yields and cost of production (methodology and comparison).
      • Petrochemicals: opportunities (shale gas) and challenges (climate change, capex, shale gas…).
      • Case study: optimization of steamcracker feedstock, steam cracker margin/income.
  • OLEFINS (C2=/C3=)

      • Review of processes (cracker and FCC) and new technology (MTO, CTO, PDH…).
      • Key players and market perspectives (new investments).
      • Sector challenges (production increase, production costs…).

      • C4 value chain (butadiene and butylenes), brief technical review of technologies, key actors and markets.
      • C5 value chain (isoprene, DCPD, PIPS).

      • Value creation and capital cost, cash flows, discounting principle and inflation impact.
      • Standard global profitability analysis: cash flow schedule, economic criteria (net present value, internal rate of return, etc.).
      • Introduction to risk analysis.
      • Case study: steamcracker profitability.

Learning Objectives

  • Upon completion of the course, participants will be able to:
  • understand the economic framework and the key challenges of petrochemicals industry,
  • identify key interfaces between petrochemicals and other hydrocarbon sectors such as upstream (Oil & Gas) and downstream value chain (refining/petrochemicals),
  • understand the traditional and on purpose processes and the technologies used in the industry (such as steamcracker, reformers, CTO/MTO, PDH…,
  • evaluate project profitability.

Ways & Means

  • Case studies and exercises in groups.