Marcellus Shale Petrochemical Plants On Track Despite Stresses In The Oil Patch

Shell Chemical has now received approval from Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection to proceed with plans to build an ethylene and derivatives petrochemical complex based on the large quantities of ethane being produced and available from Marcellus Shale natural gas production in Beaver County Pennsylvania.  The company is now gearing up to proceed with its ethane cracker — one of several proposed for the area.

Two Brazilian companies, Braskem SA and Odebrecht SA formed the Appalachian Shale Cracker Enterprise (ASCENT) project to be located in Parkersburg, West Virginia, and a third ethane cracker project is being considered — a  joint venture of PTT Global Chemical, Thailand’s largest integrated petrochemical and refining company, and Marubeni Corp to tap ethane from the Utica Shale formations. The projects are still moving forward despite stiff competition from established Gulf Coast olefin / polyolefin producers who are themselves pursuing expansion plans.