“Mammoth” Shell Cracker Currently Employs 7,500 Daily – An Update

Credit: Youngstown Business Journal (click for larger version)

Activity in building the mighty Shell ethane cracker in Monaca, PA (Beaver County) has reached a fevered pitch. Its apex. Its zenith. Currently, there are some 7,500 workers who visit and work at the site on a daily basis. Can you imagine?! That’s like a small town coming and going each and every day. There are some 1,000 workers who work all through the night! We’re still a year or two away from the beginning of operations at the plant, but all of the key structures are now in place and the work has shifted to connecting everything. Here’s an update on this massive, jobs-producing economic bonanza happening in southwestern PA…
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Penn State Peddles PIE in the Sky – Takes Swipe at Shell Cracker

Increasingly Penn State is taking swipes at the Marcellus Shale industry that has so richly blessed the state–and has blessed Penn State and its various educational programs. It’s really disappointing. The latest attempt is something called PIE–or political industrial ecology. It’s a made-up academic term that means judging an economic miracle like the Shell cracker through the lens of leftist political dogma. Essentially a Penn State researcher tries to find people who don’t like the cracker and give them “a voice.” Apparently they misplaced their own voice.
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PA Dems Try to Defend Opposition to Petchem Bill at Town Hall

Some Pennsylvania state Democrats are obviously feeling the political heat over their opposition to House Bill (HB) 1100, meant to attract brand new business and jobs to the state in the petrochemical industry (see PA Senate Tweaks, Passes Bill Attracting Cracker-Type Investment). Some (not all) Dems hate fossil fuels and will do anything to oppose them, including Rep. Danielle Friel Otten, a radical leftist from the Philadelphia suburbs. She opposes HB 1100 and the jobs the bill would bring.
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Despite Antis’ Best Efforts, More NatGas Coming to New England

The U.S. Energy Information Administration is reporting several natural gas pipeline upgrades are either planned or under construction in New England. Four pipelines are expected to increase compression in their systems by 2023, adding more than 350 million cubic feet per day (MMcf/d) of natural gas pipeline capacity into the region, despite the best-laid plans of antis to resist any new supplies of natural gas from reaching New England. As near as we can tell, two of the four upgrades will flow more Canadian gas, but the other two are likely to flow Marcellus gas.
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Upstate NY NatGas Power Plant Makes Money with Bitcoin Mining

We’ll be right upfront and say this article is a hard one for us to wrap our brains around. In order to explain something in simple terms, you must first understand it. We don’t fully understand the concepts discussed below, but feel it’s important to pass along anyway. In September 2018 MDN brought you an article about a concept called blockchain, and to some degree, bitcoin (see Blockchain: Explaining a Complex New Tech + Impact on O&G). Put simply, blockchain is an ironclad “way of tracking things.” Those things can be money (like bitcoin, the earliest adopter of the technology), but also other things, like legal documents. We’ve come across an article about a natural gas-fired electric plant operating in Upstate New York that uses extra electricity it produces but can’t sell onto the local power grid to instead power something called a bitcoin mining operation. Stick with us.
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DC Suburb Goes Commie – Demands End to NatGas Use by 2045

Last Friday MDN told you about an initiative in Arizona and five other states to block the right of local municipalities from banning natural gas appliances and natural gas heat from homes and businesses (see Several States Float Laws to Ban Municipal NatGas Bans). As we pointed out, Berkeley, California was the first to enact such a ban (there’s a reason it’s nicknamed Berserkley). Now Takoma Park, Maryland, on the other coast, wants to go *even further* than Berkeley’s ban. Takoma appropriately calls itself the Berserkely of the East. Takoma officials have floated a plan that will ban “all gas appliances, close fossil fuel pipelines, and move gasoline stations that do not convert to electric charging stations outside city limits by 2045.” Wow! Talk about wackadoodle!
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Russia’s Vladimir Putin Declares War on American Shale Oil

Something pretty dramatic happened last Friday in Vienna, Austria. For the past three years, Russia and a few other non-OPEC countries have coordinated and cooperated with Saudi Arabia (which runs OPEC) in order to control the price of oil worldwide. Russia (mainly) plus OPEC has been called OPEC+. Creative, no? Given the COVID-19 coronavirus worldwide scare (much more a scare than an actual pandemic), and given the pullback in many countries, like China, of reducing manufacturing with the consequence of reducing their need for oil, and given there is now a surplus of oil sloshing around the world, the Saudis are spooked and want to cut production, NOW, in order to avoid having the price of oil drop into the sub-basement. Last Friday Russia walked into OPEC HQ in Vienna and said nyet to any production cuts. Translation: OPEC+ is dead.
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Shale Energy Stories of Interest: Mon, Mar 9, 2020

MARCELLUS/UTICA REGION: Pro-energy, pro-manufacturing approach is best for Pennsylvania; Anne Blankenship: Gas industry can drive WV’s future; Oil and gas officials, West Virginia Chamber of Commerce optimistic of pipeline continuation; Pro-fracking group backs Phillips; OTHER U.S. REGIONS: Virginia moves to phase out CO2 from power plants by 2045; NATIONAL: EIA’s long-term power plant projections trade off the cost and value of new capacity; Natural gas prices may decline further, likely to hit a 20-yr low level; INTERNATIONAL: Germany proves how essential natural gas is – and the U.S. must supply; The great Saudi shale swindle.
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