Crude-to-chemicals Market Size Research Report 2023 Analysis & Forecast to 2030
crude-to-chemicals market size is projected to reach USD 800 billion by 2030 at a CAGR of 7.34%.

Market Synopsis

According to the MRFR analysis, the global crude-to-chemicals market size is projected to reach USD 800 billion by 2030 at a CAGR of 7.34%.

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Crude-to-chemicals is a technology which allows the direct conversion of crude oil to high-value chemical products instead of traditional transportation fuels. It enables the production of chemicals exceeding 70% to 80% of the barrel producing chemical feedstock as opposed to ~10% in a non-integrated refinery complex. A majority of crude-to-chemicals plants that have been planned or have started operations are based in China or the Middle East. The choices of technology for the crue-to-chemical plant depends on the type of feedstock available for processing and end-products being produced in refineries. Crude-to-chemical plants are primarily focused on increasing the yield of light olefins or aromatics, such as benzene, toluene, and xylene.

Crude-to-chemicals market is broadly classified into three main technologies—steam cracking technology, de-asphalting technology, and hydrocracking technology. Demand for petrochemicals continues to grow, supported by increasing urbanization and improving standards of living. Faced with the prospect of declining use of oil in transportation, the oil industry is turning to petrochemicals as a key target area for future long-term crude oil demand growth. The use of polymers, paints and coatings, adhesives, soaps and detergents, and cosmetics in day-to-day life confirms the importance of crude-to-chemicals. The petrochemical industry links the downstream industries such as construction, automotive and transportation, packaging, healthcare, electricals, and electronics with the upstream oil & gas industries.

The increasing demand for polymers is predominantly driving the global crude-to-chemicals market as they are widely used in manufacturing monomers, which are used for making polymers. The increasing demand for paints & coatings is also projected to boost the growth of the global crude-to-chemicals market. The rising demand for methanol in multiple end-use industries is also contributing to the growth of the product market.

Competitive Landscape

The global crude-to-chemicals market is highly fragmented and consists of many organized and unorganized industry players. Manufacturers focuses mainly on expansion of production capacities, continuous product launch, and collaborations with key stakeholders to gain a competitive advantage over other players. Key players include Saudi Arabian Oil Co., Shell Global, Indian Oil Corporation Ltd., ExxonMobil, Sinopec, Hengli Petrochemical, Reliance Industries, and Total.

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By Technology

  • Steam Cracking Technology:

The steam cracking technology is used for the production of ethylene and a small portion of propylene. This technology has evolved over time, and developments are being made to process different feedstock, i.e., naphtha, gas oil, and ethane. The direct use of crude oil in steam cracking for the production of light olefin was not successful due to coke formation and fouling of crackers. 

  • De-asphalting Technology:

The hydro-processing/de-asphalting step produces highly paraffinic, de-asphalted and de-metalized stream, which can later be processed in the steam cracking unit. It separates asphalt and other compounds from petroleum products. It is part of the refining process used to break crude oil down into various components of commercial value.

  • Hydrocracking Technology:

Hydrocracking is a process to convert larger hydrocarbon molecules into smaller molecules under high hydrogen pressure and elevated temperature. It is commonly applied to upgrade the heavier fractions of the crude oils to produce higher value transportation fuels.

By Application

  • Adhesives & Sealants: Adhesives and sealants are predominantly composed of polymers and solvents, which are derived from crude-to-chemicals. They are largely used in end-use industries such as building and construction, automotive and transportation, electrical & electronics, packaging, textiles, and footwear.
  • Polymers: Polymers are prepared from monomers through the polymerization process. Monomers are olefins or the chemical intermediates derived from them. High demand for polymers from end-use industries such as packaging, automotive & transportation, building and construction, electricals and electronics, and healthcare are contributing to the growth of the polymer industry, which in turn is driving the demand for crude-to-chemicals
  • Paints & Coatings: Paints and coatings comprise binders, solvents, pigments, and other additives. Chemicals such as polyvinyl alcohol, trimethylolpropane, neopentyl glycol, phthalic anhydride, petroleum resin, and epoxy resin are used in the production of paints and coatings.
  • Dyes: Aromatic crude-to-chemicals such as benzene, toluene, naphthalene, and anthraquinone are used to manufacture dyes. Dyes are used in end-use industries such as textile, footwear, paints, printing, and rubber. Robust demand for dyes in these end-use industries is expected to boost the growth of the segment in the crude-to-chemicals market.
  • Surfactants: The synthetic alcohols and other crude-to-chemicals are processed through sulphation, alkylation, and ethoxylation to produce surfactant molecules. The surfactants are used in cleaning, wetting, emulsifying, dispersing, and foaming and anti-foaming agents in many practical applications. They are present in detergents, fabric softeners, emulsions, soaps, paints & coatings, adhesives & sealants, inks, and flotation.
  • Rubber: Butadiene and nitrile are widely used for manufacturing synthetic rubber. It is widely used in making tires, tubes, gloves, piping, adhesives, and other industrial applications. The growing use of rubber in transportation vehicles, cars, packaging, footwear, and construction is expected to fuel the growth of the rubber market.
  • Solvent: Solvents are prepared using olefins and aromatic compounds. The various kinds of solvents include acetone, petrol ether, toluene, and xylene, among others. They are organic compounds used in chemical synthesis, manufacturing perfumes, thinners, paints & coatings, adhesives & sealants, and detergents.
  • Others: The others segment covers glass, ceramics, fertilizers, lacquers, disinfectants, pharmaceuticals, toiletries, and cosmetics.

By End-Use Industry

  • Automotive and Transportation: Crude-to-chemicals constitute an important part of the automotive and transportation industries. The products derived from crude-to-chemicals, such as synthetic rubbers, are widely used in manufacturing tires, form an integral part of automotive. Additionally, the use of crude-to-chemicals to derive plastic products helps in the packaging and making parts of transportation vehicles.
  • Building & Construction: Construction activities involve the usage of various equipment and products that are obtained from crude-to-chemicals. Adhesives, plastics, polymers, and paints & coatings are some of the widely used products during construction. All these products are created using crude-to-chemicals such as aromatic compounds, olefins, and polyethylene.
  • Electrical and Electronics: Certain commodities on which the electrical and electronics industry thrives are obtained from crude-to-chemicals. Objects such as computers, televisions, compact discs, and electrical equipment require the high usage of plastic compounds in building them. Plastics are produced from crude-to-chemicals such as ethylene, propylene, styrene, urethane, benzene, and cumene
  • Healthcare: Products such as phenol and cumene are used as preparatory materials for making penicillin, aspirin, and other antibiotics. Several crude-to-chemicals are used in the drug purifying procedure.
  • Others: The others segment covers footwear, textiles, home furnishing, oil & gas, cosmetics & personal care, home care, agriculture, sports, and paper & pulp.

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By Region

  • North America: The growth in the North America crude-to-chemical market is mainly attributed to the shale gas discoveries in the US and Canada, which has significantly increased the supply of natural gas liquids, transforming North America into a low-cost region for the production of chemicals
  • Europe: Implementing The growth in this region can be mostly attributed to technological advancements.
  • Asia-Pacific: Asia-Pacific is expected to emerge as the fastest-growing regional market due to various factors such as increasing government investment focused on crude-to-chemical production. China and India are anticipated to dominate the Asia-Pacific market over the forthcoming years.
  • Latin America: The growing demand is due to the rise in industrialization and urbanization in major countries.
  • Middle East & Africa: Increase in government investments is fueling the demand for crude-to-chemicals in the region.  


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