PA Study Finds Marcellus/Utica Can Support 4 More Ethane Crackers

Back in January MDN reported that Denise Brinley, a special assistant to the Secretary of the state Department of Community and Economic Development, spilled the beans on an upcoming report PA had commissioned. Brinley said the report would be released “in the coming weeks” and it would show that Pennsylvania can easily handle another two ethane cracker plants (aside from the already under construction Shell cracker), and that Ohio or West Virginia could also handle another two cracker plants (see PA Report Says Marcellus/Utica Can Support Up to 4 More Crackers). In other words, there’s enough ethane in the Marcellus/Utica to support a minimum of five ethane cracker plants. It’s been more than a few weeks, but finally the report is out. On Monday, Team Pennsylvania Foundation co-chairs Gov. Tom Wolf and Stephen Tang, President and CEO of Philadelphia’s University City Science Center, released “Prospects to Enhance Pennsylvania’s Opportunities in Petrochemical Manufacturing” (full copy below). The report comes from a comprehensive study conducted by powerhouse oil & gas consulting firm IHS Markit. According to the study, natural gas from the Marcellus/Utica accounted for 25% of all natural gas produced in the U.S. in 2015, and is expected to account for more than 40% by 2030. Wow! Additionally, 40% of Marcellus/Utica natural gas produced is rich in natural gas liquids (NGLs). Most of the NGLs produced (70%) are ethane and propane, used by petrochemical plants and plastics manufacturers. You can see why our region can handle a lot of crackers. Here’s the announcement and a copy of the full (exciting) report…

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