December 2021


Editorial Comment: HPI spending forecast to reach nearly $490 B in 2022

Each year, the editors of Hydrocarbon Processing provide the latest trends and spending forecast for the hydrocarbon processing industry (HPI).

Nichols, Lee, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

Each year, the editors of Hydrocarbon Processing provide the latest trends and spending forecast for the hydrocarbon processing industry (HPI). The HPI Market Data 2022 provides HPI professionals with information, data, regulations/government initiatives, capital spending, supply/demand and advancing technologies that will affect the global processing industries.

Global lockdowns and travel restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic have taken a significant toll on refined fuels, petrochemicals and natural gas demand globally. However, as restrictions ease, demand and capital investments in new processing capacity are increasing. Where is demand/supply forecast to go? What kind of capital investments are being made in new processing capacity? What regulations and government/company initiatives will drastically affect future spending? These questions, along with major trends in the refining, petrochemicals, gas processing/LNG, maintenance and equipment sectors, are detailed and analyzed in HPI Market Data 2022.


In 2022, the editors of Hydrocarbon Processing forecast capital, maintenance and operating spending to reach $486 B (TABLE 1). Many capital projects that were delayed during COVID-19 restrictions have come back online. Gulf Energy Information’s Global Energy Infrastructure (GEI) database, which tracks capital project construction in the hydrocarbon processing and renewables industries, has witnessed an uptick in positive final investment decisions, as well as the restart of several capital-intensive projects worldwide. However, due to the volatility of the global HPI, many projects are still being delayed, while a few have been abandoned.

In 2022, global maintenance and operating expenditures—excluding feedstock costs—are forecast to increase. Although more than 1 MMbpd of refining capacity was taken offline this year, new grassroots facilities and large-scale integrated complexes have begun operations. In turn, operating expenditures are likely to increase with this new capacity coming online. In addition, utilization rates have begun to increase in several regions, increasing operating expenditures.

Active project market share

The GEI database is tracking nearly 1,100 active HPI projects around the world. In total, these investments represent more than $1.8 T in capital expenditures to 2035. At 42%, the refining industry holds the largest active projects market share, followed by the petrochemicals sector (34%) and the gas processing/LNG sector (24%). The Asia-Pacific region represents the largest market share in both active projects and capital expenditures.

HPI Market Data 2022

To learn more about the major trends and initiatives that are affecting spending in the global HPI, the editors invite our readers to view an on-demand version of Hydrocarbon Processing’s forecast webcast. A detailed analysis on capital projects, regulations/initiatives and supply/demand by country is available within the HPI Market Data 2022 report, which can be purchased at HP

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