Shell’s Ethane Pipeline “Right on Track,” Construction Starts 2019

Falcon Ethane Pipeline map – click for larger version

Quite a bit of news came from the recent Northeast U.S. Petrochemical Construction conference held earlier this week in Pittsburgh. One session featured a Shell rep talking about Shell’s Falcon Ethane Pipeline, a pipeline with two “legs” that will feed Shell’s mighty ethane cracker plant in Beaver County, PA (see Shell Working on 94-Mile Ethane Pipeline to Feed PA Cracker). Steady progress is being made in signing up landowners to allow the pipeline across their property. With so many anti groups opposing simple natural gas pipelines, like the CORNballs who oppose NEXUS (see CORNballs Strike Again, File Lawsuit to Stop NEXUS Pipeline), radicals trying to stop active construction on Rover (see Antis Ask Army Corps of Engrs to Yank Rover Pipeline Blanket Approval), and the DOPEs opposing Duke’s tiny pipeline into Cincinnati (see DOPEs Get Ready to Fight 13 Mile Pipeline Near Cincinnati), what Shell is reporting about how they are striking deals with landowners–landowners who actually support Shell and the pipeline–stands out as unique. What’s different about Shell’s ethane pipeline? For one thing, the Shell ethane pipeline is a private project, so it can’t use eminent domain. This is a high stakes gamble for Shell. If one landowner won’t deal and the pipeline doesn’t get built, how will Shell feed the cracker beast? So Shell deals with landowners (i.e. pays them big bucks) in order to get easements signed. Perhaps there’s a lesson here for other pipelines to follow? The Shell rep reported to conference attendees that the Falcon project is “right on track” and construction will begin in 2019, with completion set for 2020. That’s about two years ahead of when the cracker will go online…

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