Rumor Mill: PA Ethane Cracker Plant on Shell Chopping Block?
On an analyst call yesterday, Shell’s outgoing CEO Peter Voser stoked fears that Shell may be ready to pull the plug on the announced ethane cracker plant planned for Monaca, PA. According to Voser, the company will make “hard choices” over the next few quarters about which projects it will fund and build. Specifically, Voser said the company had previously announced three big projects: the ethane cracker in PA, a gas-to-liquids plant in Louisiana, and an LNG plant in Canada. He said Shell cannot build all three projects. Gulp.
Voser’s comments have led to speculation that the ethane cracker plant in PA will get the ax, especially with two ethane pipelines coming online by the end of this year, and two more mixed NGL pipelines coming online in the next few years (see our companion story today, “Midstream Knife Fight”). Just last week we highlighted a story from the Wall Street Journal and industry analyst Rusty Braziel which also cast doubt on the PA cracker plant (see WSJ Says PA Cracker Plant May Not Happen After All). Are things going south–literally and figuratively–for the Shell cracker? Yesterday’s comments from Voser: