US Shale Gas Production Revitalizing Petrochemical Industry, Driving Investment and Creating New Jobs, Need for Training to Meet Demand, Says IHS

IHS launches new professional training and education program for energy and chemical workers, including public courses

Wednesday, May 15, 2013 12:49 pm EDT


"The shale energy revolution is not only revitalizing the North American petrochemical industry, it is transforming the entire U.S. economy, and that phenomenon is reflected in the demand across key manufacturing sectors such as metals, cement, glass, plastics and other materials critical to construction of new facilities"

The shale gas revolution underway in North America is revitalizing the petrochemical industry, which will welcome more than $217 billion in new downstream capital investments and a crude oil production capacity increase of more than 52 million barrels per day during the next six years, according to IHS research. This investment is bringing new jobs and new people to the industry worldwide, many of whom lack training or specialized skills to compete, according to analysis from IHS (NYSE:IHS), the leading global source of information, insight and analytics.


“The cost-advantaged feed stocks from shale and tight oil plays are changing the global competitive landscape and creating new jobs in the U.S. and abroad for a new generation of workers,” said Jeffrey S. Plotkin, Ph.D., vice president of training and education at IHS Chemical, and a noted textbook author and educator. “There are many people who work in direct roles — such as chemists, engineers or process operators, as well as those who work in indirect roles — such as human resources, procurement, legal, business management, strategic planning, communications and accounting, who need training on the basics of the industry. This is why we are announcing our new public courses designed to educate both new and seasoned professionals on current industry fundamentals so each has the knowledge they need to be successful in an industry that is vital to our economy.”


The IHS Professional Training and Education Program: Chemicals and Energy Series, now includes new, three-day, open education courses as part of its suite of offerings. These new courses complement its traditional one-day training workshops that are coupled with key industry events as well as its custom, in-house training programs offered to companies or professionals requiring chemical education with an emphasis on particular industries across the petrochemical value chain, such as energy, automotive, construction or financial services.


According to Plotkin, the new, three-day, open education courses provide attendees with the basic framework and industry fundamentals needed to understand and cope with changing dynamics. “The course puts the industry into historical perspective and unravels the deep interconnections of chemistry, engineering principles, economics, markets, and profitability. By the end of the course, we expect participants to have gained the knowledge and insights to make good decisions and effectively manage a rapidly evolving, highly integrated, and frequently volatile, global petrochemical market.”

The 2013 public courses will launch in Houston in June, and follow in London, Shanghai, Singapore, Dubai, Sao Paolo, Frankfurt, Houston (additional session), Beijing and San Francisco/Santa Clara, Calif. Plotkin, a noted author, speaker, researcher, patent holder and internationally recognized educator and instructor on chemicals, technology and markets, will lead the course instruction.


“An example of this job growth is in the U.S. production growth of key chemical components such as methanol, ethylene and ammonia,” said Mike Nash, global director of Syngas Chemicals at IHS. “An abundant supply of low-cost North American shale gas resources is driving capacity additions for these and other core products. According to IHS estimates, by 2018, we expect combined North American capacity additions for these three products to exceed 17 million metric tons annually. Shale gas is a major game-changer for the U.S.—moth-balled petrochemical units have started back up, units are being relocated to the U.S, and other investments are planned across the country. This means more jobs.”


“The shale energy revolution is not only revitalizing the North American petrochemical industry, it is transforming the entire U.S. economy, and that phenomenon is reflected in the demand across key manufacturing sectors such as metals, cement, glass, plastics and other materials critical to construction of new facilities,” said John Larson, an economist and vice president of Economics and Country Risk at IHS. ”Initially we see construction jobs created, since these workers build the new plants, but then we see other infrastructure jobs related to pipelines, transportation or storage, as well as workers who operate the plant. Beyond the plant gate, there is a cascade effect of both direct and indirect job growth that is created, since lots of industries and job disciplines are required to support, maintain, supply or operate these facilities, as well as to house, feed and provide other retail and support services to workers over time.”


Said Plotkin, ”This dramatic, rapid growth in U.S. chemical capacity additions and demand has created an interesting challenge for chemical employers worldwide, since just a few years ago, many forecasters were predicting the decline of the U.S. petrochemical industry and few people were encouraged to pursue careers in the industry. That is clearly changing, but there is a workforce gap between skills and opportunity that we are hoping to help address with our public training program.”


To speak with Plotkin, Larson or Nash, please contact, or To register for the 2013 training schedule for the IHS introduction course to petrochemicals, please visit


About IHS (


IHS (NYSE: IHS) is the leading source of information, insight and analytics in critical areas that shape today's business landscape. Businesses and governments in more than 165 countries around the globe rely on the comprehensive content, expert independent analysis and flexible delivery methods of IHS to make high-impact decisions and develop strategies with speed and confidence. IHS has been in business since 1959 and became a publicly traded company on the New York Stock Exchange in 2005. Headquartered in Englewood, Colorado, USA, IHS is committed to sustainable, profitable growth and employs 6,700 people in 31 countries around the world.

IHS is a registered trademark of IHS Inc. All other company and product names may be trademarks of their respective owners. Copyright © 2013 IHS Inc. All rights reserved.




Chemicals; Energy; Natural Resources
Melissa Manning, +1 832 458 3840