West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Ohio are all in the hunt to land an ethane cracker plant in their respective states (see the long list of MDN stories on a potential cracker plant in the Marcellus/Utica Shale region). According to WV Commerce Secretary Keith Burdette, Shell and another unnamed company are now in talks with private property owners. That is, the deals are now being negotiated, and it’s a waiting game to see the outcome.
All three states have offered huge tax incentives to land the plant. Shell originally set January for an announcement, but changed it a few weeks ago to be February.
Yesterday, Ohio Gov. John Kasich and others provided more details about MarkWest’s Tuesday announcement that they will build two new natural gas liquids (NGL) processing plants and a new fractionation plant in Ohio’s Utica Shale (see MDN’s story on the original announcement here).
Seneca Resources, the exploration and production division of National Fuel Gas Company, just reported their first quarter earnings for 2012. As part of the report, we get the following operational update which shows a 91.5 percent increase in production in Seneca’s Marcellus Shale wells.
One of the interesting but often-overlooked stories of the rapid growth of Marcellus and Utica Shale drilling is the revival of short line railroads. As drillers enter an area, equipment and materials need to be shipped to that area. Sand, especially, is used in large quantities, and short lines are the most economical way of getting sand to an active drilling area.
One of the short line railroads to came roaring back to life not so long ago is the Wellsboro and Corning Railroad (WCOR), running from Wellsboro in northeastern PA to just across the border connecting to Corning, NY.