3,000 Workers Back on the Job at Shell Cracker Construction Site

Shell slowly but surely continues to ramp back up the work being done at its mighty ethane cracker construction site in Beaver County, PA following a shutdown of activity due to the coronavirus pandemic. When the COVID-19 coronavirus hit in March, Shell stopped all work on the cracker plant, sending nearly 8,000 workers home in mid-March for what was thought to be “a few days to a few weeks” (see Shell Shuts Down SWPA Cracker Plant Construction re COVID-1). In early May Shell began bringing back roughly 300 workers each week. The total number of workers back on the job now stands at 3,000.
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Tioga County, PA Excited About Shell Asset Sale to NFG

In early May Shell and National Fuel Gas Company (NFG) announced a deal for Shell to sell all of its remaining Appalachian assets, which includes 450,000 acres and some 350 producing M-U shale wells along with pipeline assets, to NFG for $541 million (see Fire Sale: Shell Sells All Remaining PA M-U Assets for $541M). The deal is expected to close by the end of July. Most of the assets are located in Tioga County, PA. Folks in Tioga County are excited that NFG (via its drilling subsidiary Seneca Resources) will soon ramp up drilling on the Shell acreage. The county is rolling out the red carpet.
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Leftwing Academic Hacks Trash Talk PA, OH Cracker Plants

A group of leftwing radical professors (all of the Democrats) from seven universities in Ohio and Pennsylvania have colluded to write a letter to the governors of Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. The letter trash talks the billions of dollars in economic impact and tens of thousands of jobs ethane cracker plants and the petrochemical industry will have in the region. The leftist gang of seven poo-poos those estimates and says the proposed PTT cracker is too “risky” to approve. How do they figure?
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M-U Pipelines Continue Construction Despite Pandemic, Lawsuits

Two of the largest not-yet-completed pipeline projects in the Marcellus/Utica, Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) and Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP), are currently on hold with no construction activity due to various legal challenges by Big Green (see today’s story, Mountain Valley Pipe Update: Done and In-Service Early 2021). However, there are several other large and small M-U pipeline projects where construction continues, even with restrictions from the coronavirus pandemic. Which pipelines?
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Regulators Reject Pieridae/Shell Plan to Feed Nova Scotia LNG

Pieridae Energy wants to build an LNG export plant in Nova Scotia, Canada. The project is called the Goldboro LNG project. We’ve tracked the project for years hoping Marcellus/Utica gas might one day feed it (see our Goldboro LNG stories here). Our hopes to have M-U gas feed Goldboro were dashed when Pieridae announced a deal last June to buy assets from Shell in Western Canada with plans to pipe the gas to the Goldboro plant (see Pieridae Buys Shell Assets in W Canada to Feed Nova Scotia LNG). Canadian regulators in Alberta have just scuttled the deal, refusing to grant permission.
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Workers Begin Returning to Shell Cracker Plant Construction Site

Add another 300 workers returned to work at the mighty Shell ethane cracker construction site in Beaver County, PA this past Monday. This follows the lifting of a ban on construction activities by Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf. With the extra 300 workers back on the job, some 800 workers are now active at the site, just 10% of the 8,000 working on-site prior to the coronavirus pandemic lockdown.
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Shell Leases CSX Truck/Rail Terminal Near Pittsburgh for Cracker

In September 2017 to much fanfare, CSX (railroad company) announced the opening of its new Pittsburgh Intermodal Rail Terminal in McKees Rocks, PA. The new facility is a truck and railroad transloading facility connecting southwestern Pennsylvania to markets across the country and around the world. CSX said at the time, “The Pittsburgh intermodal terminal is the last key component of CSX’s National Gateway Initiative, an $850 million public-private partnership designed to create a highly efficient network of double-stack rail and intermodal terminals, connecting East Coast markets to consumers, manufacturers and businesses in the Midwest.” That was then, this is now.
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Fire Sale: Shell Sells All Remaining PA M-U Assets for $541M

A major announcement yesterday from both Shell and National Fuel Gas Company (NFG) says Shell has cut a deal to sell all of its remaining Appalachian assets, which includes 450,000 acres and some 350 producing M-U shale wells along with pipeline assets, to NFG for $541 million. The deal is expected to close by the end of July.
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Mariner East Pipe, Shell Cracker Can Restart Construction May 1

Great news! The Mariner East 2 pipeline project along with Shell’s mighty ethane cracker project will once again be able to restart their stopped construction. At least according to our reading of the law. As you may know the Pennsylvania Dept. of Community and Economic Development (DCED) has been “reviewing” waiver requests to allow all work to resume for both ME2 and the cracker project (see PA DCED First Grants Then Rescinds ME2 Pipe Construction Waivers and Shell Files for Waiver to Restart PA Cracker Work w/Fewer Workers).
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Another 200 Workers Returning to Work at Shell Cracker Site

As cases of COVID-19 coronavirus began to climb in relatively rural Beaver County, PA, local politicians pressured Shell to stop work on the mighty ethane cracker plant facility they are building in Monaca. Shell quickly complied, sending nearly 8,000 workers home in mid-March for what was thought to be “a few days to a few weeks” (see Shell Shuts Down SWPA Cracker Plant Construction re COVID-19). The company kept about 300 workers active at the site “to disinfect common areas and perform emergency repairs.”
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Shell Files for Waiver to Restart PA Cracker Work w/Fewer Workers

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf, like governors in neighboring states hit hard by the COVID-19 coronavirus, has elected to shut down all non-essential (called non-life-sustaining) businesses in the state until further notice to prevent the spread of the virus. The state issued a comprehensive list of which kinds of businesses could, and could not, continue working during the shutdown. Some 35,000 businesses on the non-life-sustaining list have requested a waiver from the state Dept. of Community and Economic Development (DCED). The DCED has so far granted 5,693 waivers, denied 8,952 requests, and ruled another 8,365 do not require a waiver because they fit the life-sustaining definition outlined in the shutdown order.
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Shell Pulls Out of Lake Charles LNG Project, Energy Transfer Stays

Is this the beginning of a pullback from LNG project? Scared of the impacts of the coronavirus and the price of oil crashing, Royal Dutch Shell is pulling out of a 50/50 joint venture partnership with Energy Transfer (ET) to build a new LNG export facility in Lake Charles, Louisiana. In corporate speak, Shell says, “This decision is consistent with the initiatives we announced last week to preserve cash and reinforce the resilience of our business,” and “the time is not right for Shell to invest.” Translation: We’re scared. And who can blame them? All of a sudden there are LNG cargoes sailing the oceans with no place to unload (see LNG Cargoes All Dressed Up with Nowhere to Go).
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Will Shell Cracker Construction Delay Affect Ohio Cracker Timing?

Nearly two weeks ago Shell, at the prompting of local officials, shut down construction of the mighty ethane cracker plant the company is building in Beaver County, PA (see Shell Shuts Down SWPA Cracker Plant Construction re COVID-19). How long will construction be stopped? According to a Shell spokesman, “I have no timeline for a return at this time.” What if the work stoppage drags on for months? It could, potentially, have a domino effect on another nearby cracker project–across the river in Belmont County, Ohio.
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Shell Ethane Pipe Construction in SWPA Allowed to Restart

Here’s a rum’un (Brit speak meaning “strange” or “odd”) if ever we’ve heard of one. Shell shut down construction activity a week ago at its mighty ethane cracker plant site in Beaver County, PA, sending nearly 8,000 people home (see Shell Shuts Down SWPA Cracker Plant Construction re COVID-19). There are still several hundred people on location to secure things and ensure no mischief is made while the other workers are away. However, work on Shell’s Falcon pipeline project, the pipeline that will feed ethane to the (now quarantined) plant, is allowed to continue as “life-sustaining” work under PA Gov. Tom Wolf’s order closing some businesses but keeping others open.
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Shell Shuts Down SWPA Cracker Plant Construction re COVID-19

Yesterday MDN told you that Shell had not (yet) closed down construction of the mighty ethane cracker plant they are building in Beaver County, PA (see COVID-19: Shell Keeps SWPA Cracker Construction Site Open). After a confirmed case of COVID-19 coronavirus in the county, the Board of Commissioners asked Shell yesterday to shut down the site for now. Within a few hours Shell did just that, sending home some 8,000 workers. The work stoppage will last from a few days to a few weeks.
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