Analysts and Geologists Both See More Cracker Plants Coming to Region

From The Daily Jeff:
A remarkable event, a “world changing event,” took place six months ago: Natural gas production in portions of Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia — an area dubbed the “Shale Crescent” — totaled 831 billion cubic feet, said David Hill, a local petroleum geologist. 
That exceeded the total production in Texas, which tallied to 703 billion cubic feet.
This region had reclaimed the record. 
“The last time that happened was about 100 years ago,” Hill said. “So, it’s no wonder that conventional wisdom thinks all of the natural gas is in the Gulf Coast region and that we’re kind of an afterthought up in the Northeast. 
“We’re now bigger than Texas in natural gas production.” 
So, why is that important? Why is it “world-changing?” 
There are various reasons, but for the average citizen of Guernsey County and, indeed, the entire Shale Crescent region, it comes down to one word: Jobs. 
That was the implication of Hill’s remarks when he spoke Thursday morning during a “Coffee and Commerce” meeting at the Southgate Hotel. Those monthly meetings, which began seven years ago, are hosted by the Cambridge Area Chamber of Commerce.
Click here to read the article.

And then there's this, from the Pittsburgh Business Times:
A chemical industry expert believes Shell Chemical’s plant under construction in Beaver County could be joined by announcements about three others in the tri-state region over the next year or so. 
The ethane crackers, which produce the building blocks of many consumer plastics, are considered key to a large petrochemical industry in Appalachia fueled by the region’s natural gas industry and the chemicals, like ethane, that are byproducts. A handful of studies have shown Appalachia’s ethane supply could support up to five ethane crackers, but companies beyond Shell have been reluctant to make the $6 billion to $10 billion commitment yet. 
Tom Gellrich, principal of Top Line Analytics, believes that’s changing. He’s optimistic that the two other potential crackers, PTT Global Chemical in Belmont County, Ohio, and another that had been considered by Braskem near Parkersburg, W.Va., will in fact get the final investment decisions in the next year. He’s looking beyond that to the next company to step up to the Appalachian cracker plate. 
“I don’t think the next announcement is more than a year away,” Gellrich said. 
Gellrich, who has worked in the chemical industry for decades, believes the as-yet-unnamed company is going to be forced to make a move in Appalachia for competitive reasons.
Read that whole story by clicking here. 

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