AECOM Wins Contract to Service Shell Cracker Plant

Bechtel, a huge multi-national engineering firm, is the company building the mighty Shell ethane cracker in Monaca, PA. Shell won’t divulge when they think the cracker will be up and running (still a year or more away), but in what we consider a very good sign that the cracker will be operating sooner rather than later, Shell has just awarded another huge multi-national engineering firm, AECOM, the contract to maintain all the machinery at the cracker plant once it’s built and running.
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Two Possible Paths for PA’s Energy Future in 25 Years

What will Pennsylvania’s future with respect to energy look like 25 years from now? What role will shale gas play? And how will that role affect the state? A group of 35 people began to study that question in the summer of 2017 and the end result, a new study, has just been released (full copy below). According to the study’s results, there are two distinct paths PA can take, resulting in two very different outcomes.
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Shell Sells NWPA Assets, Possibly Tioga County Assets Too

MDN recently received a hot tip from a reader that says Shell (i.e. SWEPI) may have recently sold its Tioga County, PA assets in northcentral PA. Yesterday, Pin Oak Energy issued a press release to say they have cut a deal to buy Shell’s northwestern PA assets, some 43,000 acres in the Utica. Which all feeds into the rumor we shared with you last November that Shell is pulling out of PA drilling (see Is Shell Pulling Out of Pennsylvania Marcellus?).

4/9/19: See important update below provide by Shell
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Fed Judge Reverses Class Action in PA Landowner Lawsuit v. Shell

A notable development in a lawsuit that before now, we were unaware of. Several landowners in Venango County (northwest PA) filed a lawsuit against Shell’s SWEPI drilling subsidiary in 2013 claiming SWEPI had stiffed them out of lease bonus payments due under duly signed lease contracts. The landowners attempted to turn the lawsuit into a class action, claiming the same thing had happened for about 300 leases in the area. A federal judge has just ruled against converting the lawsuit into a class action.
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Imported Steel for Shell Ethane Pipeline Shows Up at Philly Port

Shell pipes being unloaded – click for larger version

All 97 miles of imported steel pipeline that will be used to construct Shell’s Falcon ethane pipeline project was offloaded at a Philadelphia port last month (10,996 pipes!), and is now loaded on trucks and on the way to the Pittsburgh region (some may have already arrived).
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Shell Plans to be World’s Biggest Electric Producer, Using NatGas

Here’s a mind-blower: Royal Dutch Shell is the world’s second largest oil producer (by market value). Yet a Shell official recently said his company wants to be “the largest electricity power company in the world in the early 2030s.” Within 15 years Shell wants to be THE world’s #1 electricity producer! And they plan to do it by using natural gas as the fuel to create all that electricity.
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Family of Worker Killed at Tioga County, PA Well Pad Sues Shell

On the morning of October 27, Marc Jones, an employee of Deep Well Services, was working at a Shell well pad in Tioga County, PA when “a large piece of equipment fell on him, pinning him to the platform 65 feet in the air where he was standing” (see Accident Kills Rig Worker on Shell Well Pad in Tioga County, PA). The blunt force trauma, hitting him in the head, killed him.
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MDN Featured in PublicSource Story re Shell’s PA Cracker

More than a month ago MDN editor Jim Willis was contacted by PublicSource, an independent non-profit news organization based in Pittsburgh. A reporter wanted to know if Jim would grant an interview as part of a story he was doing on the Shell cracker, pipelines and the petchem industry in southwest Pennsylvania. Jim said yes.
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Ambridge Water Authority Changes Tune re Shell Ethane Pipeline

Shell has calmed the troubled Ambridge waters–that is, the Ambridge Water Authority waters. Shell hit a snag with plans to build its Falcon Ethane Pipeline when the Ambridge Water Authority claimed construction of the pipeline under several streams feeding the Ambridge reservoir would endanger the drinking water for 30,000 people (see Ambridge Water Authority Strongly Opposes Shell Ethane Pipe Route).
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Who *Sold* the Most NatGas in the U.S. in 3Q18?

Who are the biggest natural gas sellers in the U.S.? You might be surprised to learn that the biggest *sellers* are not necessarily the biggest *producers* of natural gas. Oh, you might recognize some of the names of the top sellers (BP, Shell, ConocoPhillips). But others might be more of a mystery (Macquarie, Tenaska, Sequent, and J. Aron & Co.). Would it surprise you to learn that BP (i.e. British Petroleum) is the #1 seller of natgas in the U.S., and has been for years? Last quarter BP sold 21.01 billion cubic feet per day of natural gas here in the colonies. Each quarter NGI (Natural Gas Intelligence) runs the numbers and publishes the list of 25 top natural gas marketers in the U.S. They recently published the third quarter 2018 list, which shows that overall volumes are up from the same quarter a year ago, and that we are on track to have the highest growth in production for a single year since the new millennium began.
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“Growing” Opposition to Shell Ethane Cracker Pipe from One Source

In June, Shell said that they plan to build their Falcon ethane pipeline in 2019 (see Shell Says Falcon Ethane Pipeline to Get Built in 2019). The pipeline won’t actually flow ethane to the Shell cracker in Monaca (Beaver County), PA until 2020 at the earliest–because the cracker plant itself won’t go online until 2020 at the earliest. The 97-mile, two-legged Falcon Pipeline is interesting because Shell didn’t use eminent domain. Shell negotiated with every landowner and got them all to sign on the dotted line. Yet we’re now hearing from Pittsburgh media that there is “growing” opposition to the project. Unless you’re a landowner with the right to stop it, or the Sierra Club with billions in the bank to launch frivolous lawsuits, there is no stopping this project, “growing opposition” or not. When you dig into the news, you will find the “growing” opposition seems to be coming from a single source–the Ambridge Water Authority.
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Is Shell Pulling Out of Pennsylvania Marcellus?

Is Shell (or SWEPI, formerly known as Shell Western E&P Inc.) leaving its Pennsylvania Marcellus drilling program behind? You may recall we posted a story in June quoting Tonya Williams, general manager for Appalachia with Shell, as stating (during her talk at the DUG East event in Pittsburgh) that Shell plans to spend $150 million to drill wells on four pads in 2018, all of it in Tioga County (see Shell Focused on Single PA County, No New Drilling in Other Areas). Although Shell has wells and acreage in 10 Pennsylvania counties, Tioga is the focus for this year. Barley two months later, in early August, MDN received a note from a trusted reader saying that Shell is pulling out, ending its Marcellus program and sending their personnel to Texas. Frankly, we were skeptical.
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