CRACKER PLANT IN MONACA, PA?? Shell's Option to Purchase Horsehead Site Expires June 30, 2013..

Does anyone know or has anyone heard whether Shell intends to exercise it option to purchase the old Horsehead Nickel site in Monaca, Beaver County, Pennsylvania? The original option to purchase was to expire at the end of 2012, but Shell obtained a 6 month extension. If Shell exercises its option this is very positive news. If Shell does not exercise its option, this would be a negative for western Pa. unless they had an alternate site in western Pa on which to build their proposed Cracker plant? I would think area newspapers and other media would be bombarding Shell with questions about its intentions. But so far I have seen nothing in the print media or elsewhere. Does anyone out there know anything?

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Mr. Orr, here is an article.


Shell is playing its cards close to the vest on this old Zinc smelting facility.  I hope that the site will be repurposed by Shell, otherwise it's likely to become a huge vacant Brown site, an eyesore,  if not worse. 

Farmer John:

       Thank you for your response and the link to the very informative article. In that article Governor Corbett said he does not expect Shell to make a decision until 2014. If that is the case, Shell will need an extension of its option to purchase the Horsehead facility. If it does not obtain an extension of its option to purchase, I would conclude that it is looking to build the plant elsewhere, or perhaps not to build it at all  These O&G companies, as the article states, keep their cards close to their vest. I am hoping that the plant is built in western Pennsylvania even if it is not at the Horsehead site. The construction jobs alone would be a huge boon to the economy!

Just heard, Shell has asked for a 6 month extension and the request was granted.  So, everyone keep your fingers crossed for another 6 months.

I read on a previous thread that a pipeline ROW was being purchsed towards this site.    I am sure shell would want this ROW before any commitment.

That would be smart to have the row, but I am hearing there are difficulties. Just word of mouth from some of the locals. I am also hearing that a group of DC lawyers is lining up to appeal any permits. Helps to have friends that are on the other side and to keep my mouth shut when they are spouting their words. If they only knew....hahaha

I would think Shell would be given all the time in the world to make up it's mind about purchasing (ha ha) this old industrial site.  They are probably being paid to take possession of it so the present owners can walk away to the Carolinas.  Egads, it began life under a Lead company in the 30's, and has been smelting Zinc ever since.  Brownfield?   You bet. 

Well; hard to discuss much as it was accompanied by slides that are hard to put into words.  Some slides showed micro-seismic being done while fracking and how they can track results. Others were things like geology structure. Suffice to say that things look good but not great as S Ohio has better geology....which we all knew.

Halcon has said they have joined a "data consortium" to share data with other operators but no word of what other operators were involved. But many companies are working together to maximize their results.

The Shell cracker is still unknown.  But if it comes it will require 60,000 -80,000 barrels of ethane/day.  But the area can produce 250,000-400,000/day so there is a lot of product available. But after during a discussion people with knowledge seemed to think that the cracker won't be built.  Several pipelines are being converted to carry ethane to the Gulf coast  and it may be cheaper to just do that. Just have to wait and see.

All the wells drilled so far in the region are not inline so there are no production reports but prelim statements and additional activities appear to be promising. Halcon is extending some lease offers around their current holdings but no word on what offers entailed. But the fact they are extending their offers shows they like what they found. The big ? is just how much.

The 50,000 miles remark wasn't that 50,000 miles of pipeline were planned but that it would take that much pipe to eventually develop all the shale. Might be 50 yrs before that is all in place.

Jim: Thanks for the information. I hope you are wrong about the cracker plant not being built, because it would have been an enormous construction project generating thousands of  jobs. The Horsehead site may not be a good site given the nature of the Horsehead business which could  have caused major contamination of the soil. Shell assuredly does not want to purchase a property that the EPA might require them to spend billions to clean up. It surprises me that Pennsylvania hasn't  come up with a number of potential alternative sites for the plant that might have less potential problems than the Horsehead site. If it is cheaper to built pipelines to the gulf coast than to build the plant, that is probably what they will do.

That's too bad about the cracker not coming there, but I think we all expected as much. With Corbett falling so far out of favor in PA, I think Shell knows they will be in hostile territory once there is a Dem in office next, and it really looks like that will happen. With no political support for that site, I can't see Shell wasting another minute on that location and moving on to more friendly territory.

Don't give up yet.....people like to talk and prognosticate....doesn't mean their right or even know more than anyone else. None of those talking had any ties to Shell. I doubt anyone knows yet which way they are leaning except for maybe five or ten of Shell's biggest bigshots.

Frank, I do know that at least one of the lead lawyers for Shell has purchased a rather large house in the Beaver area. This person said they moved here and bought a house because they understood they would be busy in the area for some time to come.

Don't give up yet!

Is the proposed sight along the river?


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