WV Announces Brazilian Company to Build Ethane Cracker Complex

celebrateYesterday West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin was flanked by representatives from Brazilian chemical company Odebrecht to announce the company has chosen a site near Parkersburg, WV (third largest city in the state) to be the potential site of an ethane cracker plant complex. The complex will have an ethane cracker, three polyethylene plants and infrastructure for water treatment and energy co-generation. Gov. Tomblin was justifiably proud to make the announcement, calling it a “game changer” for West Virginia. He’s right.

Odebrecht will build the plant, and once built, it will be operated by Braskem, another Brazilian company with operations in Pennsylvania (51% owned by Odebrecht). MDN told you about Braskem’s interest in a WV ethane cracker all the way back in March 2012 (see Second Company Interested in Building Cracker Plant IDed). So it appears Odebrecht/Braskem have been sniffing around the concept of building a cracker in WV for at least a year and a half. We have a lot of coverage of the announcement below. The key word here is: caution. Like the Shell cracker, this is very early in the process and not yet a 100% done deal…
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Clash of the Ethane Cracker Titans: PA vs WV Smackdown

As MDN mentions in today’s companion story about the newly announced potential ethane cracker plant complex to be built near Parkersburg, WV, there is angst in Pittsburgh about whether or not a WV cracker plant will help or harm the potential cracker plant to be built by Shell northwest of Pittsburgh in Beaver County, PA.

The Pittsburgh Business Times, a bit critical and skeptical of the WV cracker (no surprise there), tackles the question of, “Is you a friend or is you foe?”…
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Officials Say Cracker Will be Truly Huge for WV Jobs & Economy

One final story in MDN today about WV ethane cracker mania (see our other two stories posted today for full coverage of the announcement from yesterday). Although WV Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin and officials with the companies that would build and operate a proposed ethane cracker in WV–Odebrecht and Braskem–were careful to say this is a preliminary announcement and not a 100% done deal, it’s still just too juicy a carrot to leave alone for the Tomblin administration.

Although Tomblin says Oderbrecht is “exploring” the possibility of building an ethane cracker, he’s also shouting that this is the best thing for West Virginia since sliced bread was invented (our words, but certainly his sentiment). And sure enough, right on the heels of his announcement, Tomblin officials were talking about the thousands of new jobs this project will generate and the incredible economic impact it will have on WV. IF built, they are 100% correct, this will be an economic and jobs-generating engine like none we’ve seen in the northeast for generations–no doubt about it. The key word, though, is IF…
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Important New Shale Energy Resource Launches: NaturalGasIntel.com

As some MDN readers may know, in addition to writing and publishing Marcellus Drilling News each weekday and writing/editing the Marcellus and Utica Shale Databook, MDN editor Jim Willis also consults for Natural Gas Intelligence (NGI). You may recognize the NGI name–they’re the publishers of the fabulous Shale Daily newsletter–the first and still the only daily publication dedicated to news coverage from all North American shale plays. Jim works with the fine folks at NGI to help with marketing Shale Daily and other NGI publications and products (like a really cool shale/pipeline wall map). One of the projects Jim has had a small hand in is the design and launch of the NaturalGasIntel.com website.

NaturalGasIntel.com is an incredibly important new resource for those interested in the shale energy industry. It incorporates all of the great content from Shale Daily PLUS content from NGI’s other publications PLUS brand new features like shale basin resource pages–individual pages dedicated to each of the major (and many of the minor) commercial shale plays in North America. MDN will tell you more about how you can leverage these new features in the coming weeks. For now, we include the NGI press release announcing the new site (read it below) and we encourage you to head on over and get a free 7-day trial and try it out for yourself…

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NE PA Audience Hears How to Plug in to the Marcellus Supply Chain

The Marcellus means jobs and an economic boom for northeast Pennsylvania. That was the message delivered yesterday in Wilkes-Barre at a Marcellus forum hosted by State Sen. John Yudichak and State Sen. John Blake (both from the Scranton/W-B area). The forum was attended by over 100 people–local contractors, trade unions, small manufacturers and others. MDN friend John Augustine from the Marcellus Shale Coalition was one of the featured speakers, with lots of good tips for those who want to plug in to the Marcellus supply chain.

The Wilkes-Barre Times Leader was on hand and filed this helpful report:
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Berks County, PA Hosts Pipeline “Education” Forum – LOL

A supposedly non-partisan “pipeline education forum” was held yesterday in Berks County, PA (near Philadelphia)–payed for with taxpayer money and hosted/organized by the Berks County League of [Liberal Democrat] Women Voters. To their credit, the League had two pro-drillers on the panel: someone from utility giant UGI and someone from Spectra Energy. But the rest of the panel was packed with anti-drillers, like a rep from the rabidly anti-drilling Delaware Riverkeeper and the anti-drilling director of the so-called Pipeline Safety Coalition, based in neighboring Chester County. They were there to scare the *&@# out of attendees.

Such is “fair and balanced” from the “non-partisan-doesn’t-take-a-position” League. Excuse us as we pick ourselves up off the ground from laughing so hard…
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The Important Role of Engineering/Construction Firms in Shale

Engineering and construction firms play a big and important role in the shale drilling industry. If you ever attend a trade show, like the top-notch Shale Insight event hosted by the Marcellus Shale Coalition, and walk around the exhibition area, there are a LOT of engineering and construction companies with booths. And rightfully so–because without them drilling and the associated work (clearing sites, constructing buildings, installing pipelines, siting compressor plants, etc.) would not get done.

Uber big consulting firm PricewatershouseCoopers (PwC) recently released a “report” (i.e. white paper) that discusses how engineering and construction companies can successfully help deliver shale oil and gas products at quicker speeds and lower costs through integrated project planning. That is, PwC is trying to drum up some business. If you’re an engineering/construction company, they can show you a way to do it better, by using their high-priced consultants. 🙂 Still, the white paper has a few useful points to make, and so we pass it along to you…
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