Published September 2015
This report focuses on butanes (n-butane and isobutane) and their major markets. The global butanes business is operated by oil and natural gas companies from the public and private sectors. Major global end uses for butanes include consumption for gasoline manufacture, use in petrochemical production, and fuel uses (as LPG).
In 2015, natural gas processing accounted for about 57% of total supply, while refinery operations accounted for the remaining 43%. During 2015–20, natural gas processing is forecast to grow at 3.0% annually, while refinery operations are forecast to grow at about 2% annually.
The Middle East continues to be the world’s major producer/supplier of butanes. In 2015, it accounted for 22% of total production, followed by the United States, China, and Europe. Overall growth in production is forecast at about 2.5% annually during 2015–20.
The following pie chart shows world consumption of butanes:
World consumption of butanes is forecast to grow at 2.8% annually during 2015–20. This growth will be attributed to increased commercial/residential use throughout the world, as well as to butanes use as feed for petrochemicals.
Residential/commercial use is the leading application, accounting for 47.7% of total consumption in 2015, followed by chemical applications, engine fuel, refinery applications, industrial applications, and town gas and all other applications. Overall growth will be led by chemical and residential/commercial.
The leading consuming countries/regions for chemical applications are the Middle East, the United States, Europe, Southeast Asia, and China.