The company has signed an agreement to provide its ethane from the Utica Shale to Royal Dutch Shell's proposed multi-billion cracker plant in Beaver County, Pa., if that plant gets built.

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All you hear is doom and gloom that this cracker will not be built, meanwhile shell continues to prepare for its existence.  If shell would announce that it was building the cracker, prices would soar for the infrastructure that they would need.  And some people thing that these big oil companies are dumb!

Yeah and if they announce it closer to the election Corbit will look like a hero...

Not a bad idea Gary, it's about time the republicans start using some democratic tricks!!!

I wonder if anyone else signed on. Good news none the less! There is no shortage of naysayers in regards to Shell's Cracker. Let's hope they are all wrong.

It was reported in the Pittsburgh paper that anyone submitting bids to sell ethane to Shell would be privy to their plans pertaining to the Cracker if they signed a nondisclosure agreement. My gut says it will be a go , but we will be the last to know for sure. Indicators are that it will happen and all the doubt and uncertainty is , IMO ,  just symptomatic of the secrecy surrounding this venture. Many,many justifiable reasons for Shell to keep this close to their vest.

I agree that this will be a closely held secret.

No one will probably be certain until the first dozer blade of dirt is turned over.

Mostly into the methane pipelines until they reach maximum BTU's.

Nope, there are wet gas lines being built out to ship it to the Gulf Coast and to Canada. Even a line to the old Sunoco refinery near Philadelphia. Also much will go by barge and rail to other destinations. And I am thinkin' that there will be a lot of new industry built up locallly tht will utilize a lot of the wet gas fractions.

If they start on the cracker next year, it will take about five years. In that time thousands of wells can be drilled and ready by then. With these kinds results, there will be plenty of ethane for all.

I believe you are right Jim. Check out Markwest's website. The Liberty division with the Bluestone and soon to be operational Bluestone 2 and yet a third treatment plant in the planning Butler County in Evans City.........hmmm. The new Markwest NGL pipeline going in across northern Beaver County headed for , I say , Evans City.......Lots going on behind the scenes.......Markwest still recorded my and my neighbors' pipeline row's even though this path was supposedly moved south of us to north Beaver county (the line being started there now , I believe). More going on than we are privy to but the puzzle is slowly taking form , one piece at a time. Sure would like to see a map of this latest line. Seems to be running East and West. Crossing Rt.168 between New Galilee and Darlington in the general direction of the Patterson and Gateway wells. I have to get out and do a Sunday Recon Drive. LOL

Trapper; I expect that line to also run north of Ellwood City to the Twentier pad, north to the Mayberry pad, east to just north of Slippery Rock for two pads there and then NE to Boyer for a pad there.  All these pads have three wells each that need to tied in. Much of the ROWs have been recorded already.

It probably will also have legs into eastern Mercer Co where Shell is drilling now and has a lot acreage. It may also tie in the Halcon wells there. 

Like you said, lots of stuff behind the scene we don't know about. I don't think they started work yet, but should in spring.

Gulfport was if not now, shipping the wet condensates to their Grizzly counterpart to thin the bitumin from the tar sands so it will flow.


  The real world is there is no obvious short term solution to the ethane problem. New Utica/Marcellus crackers are at least 5 years away, and all the pipelines currently under consideration will not handle all of the ethane "overflow". Then there is a question of how much more capacity exists in Mt Belvieu, since other shale plays (particularly Eagleford) also produce prolific quantities of ethane.


Exciting developments slowly unfolding. Mark west appears to be building a really good position in the area to be the major transporter of and treater of NGL'S.


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