Release the Cracker! After Shell's Historic Announcement, Will Appalachia Become the Next Petrochemical Hub?



Shell’s multi-billion dollar ethane cracker in Western Pennsylvania is an important development for anyone operating in the oil/natural gas, chemicals and plastics markets and their suppliers.

It will mark the first time in more than 20 years that such a facility has been built in the United States outside of the Gulf Coast, which will create a number of wide-ranging issues and opportunities.

Several similar projects have been announced for the region by global heavyweights. What's next for those projects? Can a revived petrochemical industry in the Appalachian Basin actually compete with the more established juggernaut on the Gulf Coast? Will this spark development of a chemical and plastics hub? And what does Shell's new facility mean for ethane prices, gas producers and a growing marketplace in the Northeast?

This 12-page report includes fresh details, including additional insights about Shell's project from one of its leading executives, Ate Visser, vice president of Appalachia petrochemicals at Shell Chemical LP.

Referenced in the Report:
American Chemistry Council | Blue Racer Midstream | BofA Merrill Lynch | Braskem
BTU Analytics | Consol Energy | Dreadnought Solutions LLC | ExxonMobil
Marcellus Shale Coalition | PTT Global Chemical | Raymond James | Royal Dutch Shell
Sanford C. Bernstein | Sunoco Logistics Partners

The Report Includes:

  • The latest details about Shell's multi-billion dollar ethane cracker in Western Pennsylvania
  • Updates on Braskem SA's proposed cracker in West Virginia and PTT Global Chemical pcl's proposed cracker in Ohio
  • Commentary about ethane prices, production and demand in the Appalachian Basin
  • An in-depth look at NGL infrastructure and what more is needed to get Northeast ethane to the proposed crackers and markets across the country and overseas
  • An overview of the U.S. natural gas market and how ethane and its end-users fit into the demand stack
  • An assessment from leading sources about Shell's commitment to the basin and its crackers likely impact on the regional economy
  • Commentary from state officials and others on the political aspects of Shell's decision to build in Pennsylvania and progress on other projects

"The pieces of the puzzle are falling into place. You'll see increasing demand from Gulf Coast crackers that will come online next year and now Shell's cracker in the Northeast is an additional source of demand." - Kathryn Miller, Partner, BTU Analytics LLC

"The competition is pretty much over. It's over...We're not trying to build a facility anymore, we're trying to build an industry." - Keith Burdette, Secretary, West Virginia Department of Commerce

"We have been given economic development, job creation and investment savings from the state of Pennsylvania. I can tell you, with hand to my heart, that without these incentives, we would not have made this investment decision."- Ate Visser, VP of Appalachia Petrochemicals, Shell Chemical LP

"The one thing I think will really help and allow the market to take off in [Appalachia], will be the creation of storage." - Marc Halbritter, Senior VP of Business Development, Blue Racer Midstream LLC

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