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Odebrecht WV Cracker Plant Decision “By End of 2015″

An update on the progress being made by Odebrecht and their planned ethane cracker plant and petrochemical manufacturing facility planned for Parkersburg (Wood County), WV. At the recent Global Plastics Summit in Chicago, Braskem (sister company to Odebrecht) vice president of business development, Renato Monteiro, said a final decision on building the proposed cracker plant will be made “by the end of 2015.” Here’s a few other tidbits about the cracker plant that came from Monteiro at the conference, including when the first PE (polyethylene) might be manufactured at the plant…
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Odebrect Signs Deal for Polyethylene Tech for WV Cracker Plant

Odebrecht continues to advance the ball toward building a world-class ethane cracker plant near Parkersburg, WV. MDN editor Jim Willis had the pleasure of meeting and talking with David Peebles, Odebrecht VP of business development and the guy working to make this project happen, at this year’s Shale Insight conference in Pittsburgh. Peebles said Odebrecht is still in the evaluation stage but that things are looking positive so far. Here’s another positive sign: INEOS Technologies, which licenses the technologies used in large petrochemical plants, announced they have just signed an agreement with Odebrect to provide polyethylene tech for the WV cracker plant…
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Shell Files Permit to Build Barge Facility at Cracker Plant Site

Something just coming to light now. In February of this year, Shell applied for a permit with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to build a barge facility on the Ohio River in Beaver County, PA at the site of Shell’s proposed ethane cracker. Is this yet another sign that Shell is finally getting serious about building the multi-billion dollar cracker plant in PA?…
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Odebrecht Moves Forward with WV Cracker Plant Plans

It's a done dealThe previously announced ethane cracker plant that is slated to be built near Parkersburg, WV is coming along very nicely, according to Odebrecht spokesman David Peebles. A talk at the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Meeting and Business Summit at The Greenbrier last week, along with conversations with the Parkersburg News and Sentinel, provided some key details about just where the project sits. Once again MDN notices how quickly (and convincingly) the Odebrecht cracker project is progressing after being announced just last fall, as opposed to the ponderous path being taken by Shell with their planned cracker plant, announced 2 1/2 years ago. Neither plant is a done deal, yet. But in light of Odebrecht’s full-speed-ahead attitude and news from last week, it sure seems like the WV cracker is a lot closer to being a done deal than the Shell cracker…
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Antero Waits for NE Cracker Plants, Pipeline to Sell Ethane

Antero Resources is a big and getting bigger driller focused on the Marcellus and Utica Shale region. The company now has 493,000 acres leased and projects they could potentially drill wells on up to 5,000 locations across that acreage (see Antero Boasts 5K Potential Drilling Locations in Marcellus/Utica). From the wells already drilled, Antero is now pumping (or close to pumping) 1 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day (see MDN Welcomes Antero Resources to the 1 Bcf/d Club). Since a lot of Antero’s operations are in the “wet gas” area, they also produce a lot of ethane. Right now that ethane is largely considered a “waste product” because they can’t readily sell it. However, that change. The question is, when?…
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Odebrecht Cracker Plant Will be Magnet for Downstream Development

David Peebles, VP of business development for Odebrecht, presented a plan for downstream development related to his company’s proposed ethane cracker plant in Parkersburg, WV at the Department of Energy Quadrennial Energy Review Public Meeting held at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh on July 21st. The presentation shows how the proposed Odebrecht $2B+ ethane cracker plant is just the beginning of “clusters” of downstream manufacturing facilities that will be built. The cracker plant will act as a magnet for other businesses. Peebles presented the plan to DOE Sec. Ernest Moniz. And, we happen to have a copy!…
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Shell Takes a Few More Baby Steps Toward PA Ethane Cracker Plant

A small bit of progress to report on the Shell ethane cracker plant planned for Monaca (Beaver County), PA. According to comments made by Shell Chemicals Executive Vice President Graham van’t Hoff at the American Chemistry Council’s Annual Meeting last week in Colorado, Shell has made a few more baby steps toward making the cracker plant a reality–but they still aren’t committed to it just yet. Here’s the steps recently taken…
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Shell Meetings Today in Beaver County, PA on Ethane Cracker Plant

Shell is holding two public meetings today at the Shadow Lakes club in Hopewell (Beaver County), PA to discuss the possibility of building a multi-billion dollar ethane cracker plant in Monaca, PA. The meetings, according to Shell, are not an indicator that Shell has decided to move forward with the project. The meetings are, according to Shell, a way for the company to hear concerns from the people who live in the area and would potentially be affected by the plant, and for Shell to share information on where the project stands at this point and what’s ahead. It’s all about good, two-way communication.

More details about the meetings today, and a brief background on the proposed Shell ethane cracker…
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Antero to Provide 50% Ethane Needed at Parkersburg Cracker Plant

halfway thereThe ethane cracker plant planned for Parkersburg (Wood County), WV, to be built by Odebrecht and operated by Odebrecht subsidiary Braskem America, took another giant step closer to reality yesterday. Powerhouse Marcellus/Utica driller Antero Resources announced they will provide 30,000 barrels per day of ethane for the proposed new plant when/if it gets built. That’s half of what the plant needs to operate. Antero Resources CEO Paul Rady was joined by Odebrecht VP of business development David Peebles on stage at the Marcellus to Manufacturing Ethane Development Conference at the Charleston Civic Center for the big announcement yesterday. WV Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin took to the stage to crow about the deal too (he’s earned the right).

It was just Monday of last week that MDN observed that the Odebrect cracker plant just “feels” like it’s going to happen (see Odebrecht’s WV Ethane Cracker has The Big Mo–Momentum). Yesterday’s Antero announcement is more evidence of that. Below is the official Antero announcement about their ethane contribution to the proposed new cracker, along with a report of who said what about the deal at yesterday’s Charleston conference…
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Cracker Plant Talk Spurs Economic Growth in Beaver County, PA

Over the past couple of years the prospects for an ethane cracker plant in Beaver County, PA have swung from wild optimism to wild pessimism and everything in between. Most recently the pendulum has once again tilted negative (see Shell’s Shale Pessimism Signals Worry for Some re PA Cracker). But don’t talk negative to the businesses setting up shop and expanding in Beaver County. The mere talk that it’s possible Shell will build the $2-$3 billion ethane cracker in Monaca has caused a significant uptick in the local economy. One Realtor has said for businesses looking to get a piece of the coming economic pie–you’re already late! Many have already grabbed up space and it’s increasingly difficult to find commercial real estate in the county.

Here is the story of the economic boom already under way in Beaver County just from talk–talk that Shell may build a cracker plant there…
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Report: Coming Economic Miracle in WV from Ethane Cracker Plant

In February MDN told you about a newly released research report from Tom Witt, economist and former director of West Virginia University’s Bureau of Business and Economic Research and professor emeritus at WVU. Witt, now a private consultant, took a close look at realistic numbers for how many jobs and how much money the proposed Odebrecht ethane cracker and associated petrochemical plants will generate for WV and the region (see Economist Releases Report on WV Cracker Plant’s Economic Impact). The numbers are truly astonishing.

In February we could not get our hands a copy of the study, which is titled “Building Value from Shale Gas: The Promise of Expanding Petrochemicals in West Virginia.” We now have a full copy and have embedded it below. We also have an editorial written by Witt and published a few days ago describing the study and his take on the coming economic miracle in WV from Odebrecht’s ethane cracker plant…
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Economist Releases Report on WV Cracker Plant’s Economic Impact

West Virginia’s coming ethane cracker plant continues to generate positive economic news. Yesterday the former director of West Virginia University’s Bureau of Business and Economic Research and professor emeritus at WVU, Tom Witt, released a study he conducted on behalf of Braskem America (i.e. Odebrecht, the company building the cracker). The new study details specifics for how many jobs and how much money the proposed cracker and associated petrochemical plants will generate. And it’s truly astonishing.

Here’s an overview of the economic miracle about to hit WV (and beyond)…
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The Complex Issue of Ethane – Pipelines, Cracker Plants & Exports

Ethane–a natural gas liquid (NGL)–is bountiful in parts of the Marcellus and Utica Shale. So bountiful, it’s causing problems. Until very recently, ethane was considered a waste product. You either had to burn it (increasingly hard to do because of regulations), or blend it with methane. It has been a cost center when in fact ethane is normally a profit center–something that makes drillers money. But you can only make money on it if you can get it to market.

Enter several ethane-specific, and coming soon, NGL pipelines that can carry ethane (and other NGLs) to the Gulf Coast, Canada or Philadelphia for processing and sale. The problem is, if you don’t have a long-term contract on one of those pipelines, you’re hosed. Your competitors are making money on ethane while you’re still spending money on it. That, in a nutshell, is why two regional ethane cracker plants are so desperately needed (Shell’s cracker plant in Beaver County, PA and Odebrecht’s cracker in Parkersburg, WV). The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review took an in-depth look at “the ethane issue” last Friday. It’s a good article providing us with insights into the complex issue of what drillers can/should/are doing with ethane:
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Houston Investment Firm a True Believer in WV Cracker Plant

A huge vote of confidence by an investment firm that the ethane cracker plant recently announced by Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin and planned for Parkersburg, WV will actually be built (see WV Announces Brazilian Company to Build Ethane Cracker Complex). Siltstone Capital, an investment and advisory firm with corporate offices in New York and Houston, bought the old Blue Cross and Blue Shield building in downtown Parkersburg–vacant since 2009–to set up offices for the company and to lease out space they don’t use themselves.

Siltstone invests in companies in the energy sector: exploration and production, oil services, and midstream. If they weren’t totally convinced that the Odebrecht cracker plant would be built, you can be sure Siltstone would not have spent $475,000 on a vacant building in Parkersburg, WV (population 31,492)…
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WV Cracker Plant has Already Purchased Land for Future Site

In November, WV Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin announced he finally had him a cracker (see WV Announces Brazilian Company to Build Ethane Cracker Complex). By Dec. 31, Odebrecht, the company that will build the ethane cracker, had purchased the future site for their proposed plant in Wood County, WV through a holding company–for $10.9 million. A chemical plant currently located on the site employing 130 people will close in 2015. But have no fear–when the cracker plant is built, it will (for a time) employ 10,000 people to build it. It’s a massive undertaking that will ultimately lead to an estimated $7 billion economic injection just for the state of West Virginia. Talk about an economic revolution!

Compare WV’s proposed cracker to the Pennsylvania proposed cracker plant. Shell announced their intention to build a PA cracker plant in June 2011. How long did it take Shell to purchase the property on which they plan to build their cracker plant? They still haven’t purchased it. Let’s see: under 2 months to purchase the property for the WV cracker, still no purchase after 2 1/2 years for the PA cracker. Which one do you think is serious about building, and which one will get built first?…
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Life is Good in Parkersburg, WV Thx to Cracker Plant Talk

Even though it’s not yet a done deal, just the fact that Brazilian-based Odebrecht announced they might build a several-billion dollar ethane cracker plant in Parkersburg, WV is enough to cause a rush on real estate in the area. Empty office buildings are getting snapped up, hotels are calling the country economic development agency about possible new construction, and in one case a physician has contacted Parkersburg about setting up a practice specifically targeted at oil and gas workers. Life is suddenly very good around Parkersburg…
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