Shell Chemical Appalachia LLC has transitioned from the early works phase to the main works phase of its multi-billion dollar ethane cracker project in western Pennsylvania. About 900 workers are on-site for the next phase of the project, when crews will begin erecting major equipment and the 200 structures at the facility. Shell has been focused on site-preparation at the 400-acre site in Beaver County where a zinc smelting plant once operated and has so far moved more than seven million cubic yards of earth, improved roadways, built a power substation, water treatment plant, rail lines and docks along the Ohio River, according to the Pittsburgh Regional Alliance. The facility is expected to be operational in the early 2020s. 

The Sacramento, CA-based Renewable Natural Gas (RNG) Coalition now boasts more than 100 members nationally with the addition of Duke Energy and Southwest Gas Corp. Southwest Gas provides natural gas utility services to more than two million customers in Nevada, Arizona and California, and Duke supplies gas utility services to more than 1.5 million customers in the Carolinas, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee. The companies join other RNG supporters that include utilities, energy/environmental organizations and universities.

Staff of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has completed an environmental assessment (EA) for DTE Midstream Appalachia LLC's proposed Birdsboro Pipeline Project in Southeast Pennsylvania [CP17-409]. The 13.2-mile, 12-inch diameter pipeline, which would supply a 488 MW natural gas-fired power plant, was first proposed in October 2016. The pipeline would have capacity to deliver 79,000 Dth/d to the power plant in Birdsboro, PA, which is being developed by Birdsboro Power LLC, a subsidiary of Houston-based Ember Partners LP. With appropriate mitigating measures, the project would not significantly affect the quality of the human environment, Staff said in the EA. FERC will accept comment on the EA through Dec. 15. Birdsboro Power is aiming for a May 2018 in-service date. To have the pipeline operational by then, DTE said it needs to have approval by December, with construction beginning early next year. 

Wyoming grossed nearly $17 million from an offering of 239 parcels totaling 94,256 acres in its third online oil and natural gas lease auction this year. The Office of State Lands held the sale Nov. 8 for the Board of Land Commissioners, selling 191 of the 239 parcels. With the latest sale, total revenue from this year's oil and gas auctions has reached $60.9 million, with 182,935 leased acres. The proceeds so far have garnered $53.1 million for the state's common school (K-12) fund.