Insights from Pittsburgh Shale Gas Conference

Last week Pittsburgh hosted a two day conference on Developing Unconventional Gas. A number of heavy-hitter speakers were on hand to discuss shale gas. Shell Chemicals, set to announce a new ethane cracker plant in the next two months, was among the speakers, as was Texas oil billionaire T. Boone Pickens.

Some of the speakers and the points they made:

  • T. Boone Pickens said U.S. consumers have lost some $7 trillion since 1976 in paying for oil imports—importing millions of gallons per day. (Just one trillion is a massive number that’s difficult to get your mind around. It is a million million, or a thousand billion. Perhaps this perspective will help: A million seconds is 13 days. A billion seconds is 31 years. A trillion seconds is 31,688 years.) According to Pickens, the Marcellus and Utica Shales, with their prolific amounts of natural gas and oil, may be the key to reversing our dependency on foreign oil.
  • Consol Energy President Nick DeIuliis said, “The enemies of fossil fuels are good at dividing and conquering. Coal and natural gas are much better off together than they are separately.” DeIuliis also said that Pittsburgh and the surrounding area is the “energy capital of the world.”
  • Gary Evans, Chairman and CEO of Magnum Hunter Resources Corp. said, “Our federal government ought to get its act together and realize that we are a job creator.”
  • Caiman Energy CEO Jack Lafield said more gas processing plants will be built in the local area to handle the material coming out of the ground. Caiman runs the Fort Beeler processing plant near Cameron, WV.
  • And finally, Dan Carlson, general manager of new business development for Shell Chemicals said the company plans to announce the location of the company’s “multi-billion dollar” ethane cracker by January. He said the new plant would use 60,000-80,000 barrels of ethane daily.*

*The Intelligencer/Wheeling News-Register (Nov 20, 2011) – Pickens: U.S. Must Gain Independence