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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County Officials Meet with Shell on PA Cracker, Come Away Hopeful

Seems like it’s “cracker day” at MDN. Long before Odebrecht announced their potential ethane cracker plant for Parkersburg, WV, Shell announced plans to build a cracker in Pennsylvania. In fact it was exactly two years ago this month that Shell announced the location would be Monaca (Beaver County), PA (see Shell Announces Location of Ethane Cracker Plant). PA state legislators eventually voted on a package of significant tax breaks for the proposed new plant (see PA Legislature Reaches Deal on Tax Credit for Cracker Plant). However, since that time, it seems like the PA cracker deal has cycled through highs and lows as to whether it would actually get built (see PA Ethane Cracker – On Again, Off Again…Now On Again?).

More recently MDN told you the pendulum had swung back to the pessimistic side (see Shell’s Shale Pessimism Signals Worry for Some re PA Cracker). But what’s this? Last week some 30 Beaver County officials met with Shell about the proposed ethane cracker plant and left that meeting feeling “hopeful”–which is a good sign. Shell told the officials about moving forward with plans to move a portion of a local roadway, relocate power lines and other big-ticket projects that Shell would not be spending money on unless there is serious interest in moving forward. Here’s more from last week’s hopeful meeting between Shell and Beaver County officials…
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PA Dem Floats 5% Marcellus Severance Tax “For the Children”

Pennsylvania Democrats continue their push for economic suicide. Borrowing from their 50 year-old playbook, the latest push is to impose a 5% severance tax on Marcellus Shale drilling in the state–which would effectively kill all drilling–and use the money (please don’t laugh)…”for the children.” Yes folks, PA’s schools suck big-time, and the only thing that can save them now is to extract some money out of the pockets of those nasty, filthy (and rich) drillers so teachers can educate young crumb crunchers to the superiority of socialism and taking money from one group (those who work) to redistribute to another (those who don’t work). What better way than to sink a pipeline right into the piles of money that come from drilling? What dunces.

State Sen. Vincent Hughes, dunderhead Democrat from the Philadelphia area, said he will introduce legislation to impose a 5% Marcellus Shale severance tax that will be DOA, so he and other Dems can use it as a politically divisive campaign issue come November. Such caring (and intelligent) folks those PA Democrats. Just a teeny, tiny problem Vinny–your party has voted to stop all Marcellus drilling (see PA Democrat Party Votes to End Marcellus Shale Drilling Statewide). How will you tax something that doesn’t happen anymore? Oops…
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EPA/DOI Ask for More Time to Review PA-NY Constitution Pipeline

NGI’s Shale Daily is reporting both the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Dept. of Interior (DOI) have filed requests with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to extend the comment period on the proposed 124-mile Constitution Pipeline. The Constitution will run from the prolific gas fields of Susquehanna County, PA across the border and up into Schoharie County, NY where it will interconnect with two major interstate pipelines–carrying Marcellus Shale natural gas produced by Cabot Oil & Gas and other drillers (see New Marcellus Constitution Pipeline Announces “Final” Route). Along the way a local utility company will tap into the Constitution to deliver natural gas to rural locations (see Leatherstocking to Tap Constitution Pipeline for Local Deliveries).

However, the Constitution will need to make a few changes, according to FERC (see FERC: Constitution Pipeline Should Make Changes to Lessen Impacts). But nothing too major. That is, unless the EPA and DOI jump in with new demands. Their delay is unwelcome and potentially troubling–although we’re not ready to hit the panic button just yet. Here’s what Shale Daily says about the request from EPA & DOI:
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WV Marcellus to Manufacturing (M2M) Talks Crackers, Jobs & More

The 2014 Marcellus to Manufacturing Ethane Development Conference (M2M) is part of a larger event taking place this week in Charleston, WV–the West Virginia Construction and Design Expo, being held at the Charleston Civic Center. Yesterday most of the talk at M2M revolved around the Antero Resources announcement that they will provide 30,000 barrels of ethane per day for the proposed Odebrecht cracker plant (see today’s lead story). However, there were other presentations and topics, including jobs, the petrochemical industry in WV, and more.

Here’s a first-hand account of yesterday’s M2M from a Parkersburg reporter:
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Sunoco Logistics Oil Pipeline Leaks 20K Gal in OH Nature Preserve

Last Tuesday Sunoco Logistics discovered a 5-inch crack leaking crude oil from their Mid-Valley Pipeline–and the oil was leaking into the Oak Glen Nature Preserve just west of Cincinnati, OH. Ouch. Initial reports were that 10,000 gallons of oil had leaked before the pipeline between Hebron, KY and Lima, OH was shut off. That estimate has been doubled–it’s now thought more than 20,000 gallons of oil leaked. Double ouch.

What does this have to do with Marcellus/Utica shale drilling? Not much. It’s possible some of the oil comes from Ohio–more likely from other locations (we don’t know). Sunoco Logistics is the company that has built (and is building) the Mariner West and Mariner East ethane/NGL pipelines–but it’s a stretch to compare those gas pipelines with the Mid-Valley oil pipeline. The connection between the oil spill and northeast shale drilling is this: MDN editor Jim Willis first learned about the leak at the Oil & Gas Awards’ “Conference for Excellence” last week in Pittsburgh. Jim was sitting next to an official from McCutcheon Enterprises–one of the companies called in to clean up the mess–who told Jim about the spill and his company’s rapid response to work on getting it cleaned up…
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Downstream Petrochemical Co Buys Upstream Frack Fluid Co

Calumet Specialty Products Partners, a company that processes crude oil and other feedstocks into customized lubricating oils, solvents, waxes and asphalt used in consumer, industrial and automotive products, has just purchased Anchor Drilling Fluids outright for $235 million in cash. Anchor manufactures drilling mud and frack fluids used in shale drilling in the Marcellus, Utica and just about every other major shale play across the U.S. It certainly makes sense for Calument, a huge chemical company already in the “downstream” petrochemical space to move into chemical manufacturing for the “upstream” exploration and production space.

You may recall Calument is also building a gas-to-liquids (GTL) plant at their Karns, PA location to convert Marcellus Shale gas to diesel fuel (see Chemical Manufacturer to Build Gas-to-Liquids Plant in PA). Here’s yesterday’s announcement that Calumet has plunked down $235 million for Anchor Drilling Fluids…
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Russia, Obama, Europe and Marcellus Shale Gas – They are Related

In a move sure to tick off those on the anti-fossil fuel loony left, yesterday President Obama and members of the European Union issued a joint statement from an economic summit in Brussels, Belgium in which they say (our words): Bring on the LNG exports from the USA! It’s an important signal from Obama that his administration may speed up approvals for facilities that want to export liquefied natural gas (LNG) to Europe and beyond–partially in an effort to weaken Russia’s influence in the region. Europe currently gets 40% of their natural gas from Russia–so if Putin decides to turn off the spigot (as he’s done in the past with Poland and the Ukraine), it can have catastrophic consequences. Europe, and now apparently Obama, are ready to use American shale gas to reduce and even replace gas from Russia.

Even a dolt like Obama is bound to get something right at some point–so let’s give some credit where it’s due. His administration recently approved the Cove Point, Maryland LNG export facility that is being built by Dominion. When it’s operational (2015?) Marcellus Shale gas will be going to India and Japan. More export facilities are waiting to be approved that will move Marcellus and other shale play gas to other countries. Hopefully this new-found interest from the EU will encourage Obama to get on the stick and approve those facilities. Below is the joint statement between the U.S. and the EU, along with an article from The Hill highlighting LNG exports from the good ole US of A…
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