From changing the dollarized oil market to relationships with major Middle East producers, China's growing clout in the oil trade has manifold impacts for American interests.
Petchem growth appears guaranteed for the coming decades with demand rising faster than GDP in non-OECD countries and limited substitutes in this area.
While crude and products will see only modest changes from the expansion of the Panama Canal, the effects for LNG and propane will be much greater. The U.S. LNG industry will now have access to a transit route that can accommodate larger tankers at a time the industry is primed to export volumes to Asia.
The growing oversupply in LNG export capacity has weighed on prices for the key market in Asia, pushing spot prices down by about two-thirds in less than two years. Excess supplies will likely kill off an array of LNG export terminals that have not yet moved forward with final investment decisions.