Exxon Widens Search to Build SWPA Cracker Plant to Other Counties

Pittsburgh Business Times ace reporter Paul Gough has done it again–breaking big news related to ExxonMobil and their very active search to locate a site in the Pittsburgh region to build a gigantic ethane cracker plant. This time Paul’s sources are telling him Exxon has widened their search. A few weeks ago we told you Exxon was looking for potential locations in Beaver County, PA, near where Shell is building their $8 billion cracker plant (see Exxon Mobil Sniffing Around SWPA to Build Second Cracker Plant). Paul learned the search has widened to at least two other southwest PA counties.
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Exxon Mobil Sniffing Around SWPA to Build Second Cracker Plant

Leave it to ace reporter Paul Gough from the Pittsburgh Business Times to unearth some earth-shattering news–that ExxonMobil is actively looking at locations in Beaver County, Pennsylvania to potentially build a second multi-billion dollar cracker plant. Shell is already well along in building the region’s first ethane cracker–in Monaca (Beaver County). Will lightning strike twice for the good citizens of Beaver County? Maybe!
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A Tour of Shell’s Massive Ethane Cracker Plant in SWPA

Although we haven’t (yet) had the pleasure of a tour at the massive Shell ethane cracker plant complex in Beaver County, PA (near Pittsburgh), we’ve spoken to others who have. Universally they say it is a marvel to behold. The world’s second largest crane, dubbed “the Mother of All Cranes” is on site, along with about 100 other cranes (no lie, at least 100 cranes). The site is teeming with thousands (yes thousands) of construction workers–some 5,000 right now, and will reach 6,000 by year’s end. But we’ve turned a corner. According to officials, most of the large structures have now been built and the work is shifting to connect them all. Come along with us for a video tour of the facility.
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Beaver County Wants to Keep Issuing Pipe Permits; $175K from Shell

Last week the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) revoked the right of the Beaver County Conservation District (BCCD) to issue and monitor permits for erosion and sediment control, two permits used in building both pipelines and drill pads (see PA DEP Revokes Beaver County Right to Issue Pipe, Drilling Permits). Antis are now screaming for the DEP to suspend all pipeline work in the county for six months in order to review previously issued permits by BCCD (see Antis Want Pipeline Work in Beaver County Stopped for 6 Months). But the BCCD says the only thing they did wrong was misfile paperwork, that they should be allowed to resume issuing and overseeing erosion and sediment control permits.
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Antis Want Pipeline Work in Beaver County Stopped for 6 Months

We should have seen this one coming (but didn’t). Yesterday MDN told you that the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) had revoked the right of the Beaver County Conservation District (BCCD) to issue and monitor permits for erosion and sediment control, two permits used in building both pipelines and drill pads (see PA DEP Revokes Beaver County Right to Issue Pipe, Drilling Permits). Antis are now screaming for the DEP to suspend all pipeline work in the county for six months in order to review previously issued permits by BCCD.
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PA DEP Revokes Beaver County Right to Issue Pipe, Drilling Permits

Here’s something we didn’t know: The Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) does not do all of its own work to issue permits for things like erosion and sediment control. In some (many?) cases, the DEP delegates and farms out authority to issue and monitor/inspect permits for erosion and sediment control to county conservation districts. DEP is not happy with the way Beaver County has been performing those functions and has just snatched it back, revoking the county’s right to issue and monitor erosion and sediment control permits for projects like pipeline construction and building well pads and roads.
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President Trump Visits Shell Cracker Plant Near Pittsburgh

Trump speech at Monaca, PA (credit: Philadelphia Inquirer)

President Trump visited the Shell ethane cracker plant site yesterday in Monaca, PA, along with Secretary of Energy Rick Perry and EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. Trump was greeted by a crowd of some 5,000 people, many (most?) of them workers at the site–union members. When was the last time you heard about 5,000 union members attending a rally for a Democrat?! But we digress. Trump toured the facility and delivered a rousing hour-plus speech to those gathered. There is no mistaking the fact that Donald Trump is a big supporter of the oil and gas and petrochemical industries.
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Trump Takes Credit for Shell Cracker Plant – Media Blows a Gasket

Democrats and the media (one and the same) are truly a conflicted, schizophrenic bunch. Both national and local Democrats who pretend to be unbiased journalists (what a joke) couldn’t wait to blast out headlines from yesterday’s visit by President Trump to Monaca, PA that Trump is falsely “taking credit” for the Shell ethane cracker, a plant that began life–at least planning stages–during the reign of their Lord and Savior Barack Hussein Obama. Yet in the next breath they write that this plant Trump is taking credit for will produce eeeeevil plastic that’s dooming all life on Mom Earth to extinction. They want credit for the plant, yet they don’t want the plant. What’s a lib Dem to do?
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800 “Insulators” Coming to Shell Ethane Cracker Site

Not this kind of insulator…

When we first read a headline about 800 “insulators” coming to the Shell ethane cracker in Monaca, PA, we immediately thought it meant some sort of electrical component–you know, the things you see along electric lines near poles? But no, the article was not about electric insulators, but about *people* call insulators–members of the International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers union.
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PennEnergy Resources Gets Ready to Drill in Economy, PA

PennEnergy Resources, a Pittsburgh based independent oil and gas company focused on the Marcellus/Utica Shale, is getting ready to drill new wells on a pad in Economy (Beaver County), PA. The plan is facing stiff opposition from local residents because it’s located near a housing development in a residential (albeit rural) area, and will use a local road for access.
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Shell’s Falcon Ethane Pipe – Building a Pipeline the Right Way

The Falcon ethane pipeline being built by Shell in western Pennsylvania and eastern Ohio is unique in many ways. Falcon is a 97-mile, two-legged pipeline system to carry ethane to the mighty Shell cracker plant now under construction in Beaver County, PA (near Pittsburgh). We spotted an article about the pipeline and its construction. According to a local conservation office in Beaver County, pipeline construction “hasn’t even affected us [wildlife] a bit,” thanks to careful planning by Shell. A pipeline everybody loves? Is that even possible?!
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Dominion Pipeline to Feed Western PA NatGas to OH Power Plant

We’re always delighted to share news of a “new” pipeline project in the Marcellus/Utica. This particular project from Dominion Energy, tiny compared to most, its unusual in that it will flow natural gas from western PA into Ohio to feed a new natural gas-fired electric plant. You don’t often see gas from PA flow to Ohio for local use. Kind of a “man bites dog” story.
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PA DEP Claims Energy Transfer Illegally Damaged Streams, Wetlands

Speaking of the exploded Revolution Pipeline located in southwestern Pennsylvania that’s led to a driller declaring bankruptcy (see EdgeMarc Energy Files for Bankruptcy, Blames Revolution Pipe Outage), yesterday the PA Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) issued an order to Energy Transfer, builder of Revolution, to “identify and restore or mitigate all streams and wetlands that it illegally eliminated or altered during the construction” of the pipeline. DEP claims ET “illegally” eliminated at least 23 streams and changed the length of another 120 streams.
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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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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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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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