Beaver County, PA – In the Marcellus/Utica Catbird Seat

In many ways, Beaver County, PA is in the catbird seat with respect to the Marcellus and Utica Shale. The county has seen some Marcellus drilling with 17 unique well permits were issued for Beaver for the last four months of 2013 according to the latest volume of the Marcellus and Utica Shale Databook. However, it is Beaver’s geography for reasons other than drilling that gives it its advantage: the Ohio River flows through Beaver; two interstate highways pass through; lots of railroads; and of course, close to the Pittsburgh International Airport.

Beaver is also the chosen location for Shell and their $2-$3 billion ethane cracker plant. It’s been a roller coaster of will they or won’t they build it? Lately, it certainly seems like Shell is favoring a green light for the project–but only when they finally buy the property on which a now closed zinc plant sits will everyone breath a sigh of relief that the project is a done deal. (See Shell to Begin Demolition at PA Ethane Cracker Site Early 2014 for the latest.) Even if Shell doesn’t build the cracker plant, Beaver County officials say there’s still a lot happening in the county and the future looks bright, because of the Marcellus…

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