Shell continues to progress plans to build a proposed world-scale petrochemical complex in the Appalachia region, USA, which could upgrade locally-produced ethane from Marcellus shale gas production.
Shell Appalachia is headquartered in Warrendale, PA, USA, and has 185 employees located in Pennsylvania, with approximately 50 employees located in Tioga County. With the acquisition of East Resources, a Pennsylvania-based oil and gas company, on July 29, 2010, Shell owns or leases 700,000 gross acres of Marcellus rights in the Appalachian Basin.
On March 15th 2012, Shell Chemical LP has signed a land option agreement with Horsehead Corporation to evaluate a site located in Potter and Center Townships in Beaver County near Monaca, Pennsylvania, USA.
This positive development marks another phase as Shell continues to assess the commercial feasibility of a petrochemical complex in the Appalachian region. The next steps for this project include additional environmental analysis of the preferred Pennsylvania site, further engineering design studies, assessment of the local ethane supply, and continued evaluation of the economic viability of the project.
Shell looked at various factors to select the preferred site, including good access to liquids rich natural gas resources, water, road and rail transportation infrastructure, power grids, economics, and sufficient acreage to accommodate facilities for a world scale petrochemical complex and potential future expansions.
In addition to an ethane cracker, Shell is considering polyethylene (PE) and mono-ethylene glycol (MEG) units to help meet increasing demands in the North American market. Much of the PE and MEG production would be used by industries in the northeast.