Shell Cracker Construction “in the Home Stretch” – Ready in 2022

It’s been a long road, but we’re nearing the end. Shell’s $6 billion ethane cracker plant, officially called the Pennsylvania Petrochemicals Complex (PPC), is close to being done. It’s likely the PPC, located in Beaver County, PA, will be up and running sometime next year. When it is, the market for Marcellus/Utica NGLs will profoundly change. PPC will use an average of 85,000 barrels per day of M-U ethane. Our ethane will no longer be a waste product that many drillers pay to get rid of, but rather a profitable product they sell.
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Weekly Shale Drilling Permits for PA, OH, WV: Jan 4-8

Two of three M-U drilling states received permits last week. Pennsylvania scored 10 permits to drill new shale wells. Ohio received 2 permits for Utica wells. West Virginia received no new permits to drill new shale wells.

NOTE: This post was updated on 1/14/21. We previously reported a set of 6 wells in WV in error–those wells received permits in 2020 and not 2021. Sorry! Thank you to a sharp MDN reader who flagged it for us.
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Beaver Community College Opens $5M Shell Cracker Training Facility

The Community College of Beaver County’s (CCBC) Shell Center for Process Technology, a $5 million state-of-the-art training facility, has just officially opened. While the Center was built to train employees to run the Shell ethane cracker plant, it’s also training people for a myriad of other opportunities too.
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Weekly Shale Drilling Permits for PA, OH, WV: Dec 21-Jan 1

We’re catching up the permits issued over the past two weeks (prior to this week). Pennsylvania issued 11 permits during that time, and West Virginia issued 3 permits. Ohio issued no new shale drilling permits over the past two weeks.
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Weekly Shale Drilling Permits for PA, OH, WV: Dec 14-18

Last week Pennsylvania issued 25 new shale well drilling permits in both northeast and southwest PA, although most of the permits for SWPA. Ohio issued 4 new shale well permits, all of them to the same company (Encino Energy) and the same well pad (in Harrison County). West Virginia issued 6 new shale well permits, one in Lewis County and the rest in Tyler County.
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Fire at Shell PA Cracker Complex; COVID Cases Spike at Plant

Shell cracker plant site (Credit: Sally Maxon/Beaver County Times)

Last Saturday a small fire occurred in a metal storage container at the Shell ethane cracker plant complex still under construction in Beaver County, PA. The on-site fire department quickly extinguished the blaze (no injuries). Also last week, Shell reported 61 new cases of COVID-19 among workers at the plant. Currently, 97 employees (out of 7,950, or 1.2%) have the virus. Some 238 site employees have recovered from COVID infection and returned to work since the beginning of the pandemic in March.
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Spike in COVID Cases at Shell PA Cracker Plant Site – 39 Active

In line with a rise of COVID-19 cases in the general population throughout the state of Pennsylvania (and elsewhere), workers at the Shell ethane cracker site in Monaca, PA (near Pittsburgh) have seen a big jump in active coronavirus cases. As of yesterday, the number of active cases stood at 39. Wednesday the number was 31. Shell says most if not all of the cases are coming from offsite and onsite transmission among the 7,000 active workers is not a factor in the rising number.
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Anti Groups Ask PA to Reject Shell Cracker Air Permit Modification

Radical anti-fossil fuel groups have not given up hope they can somehow, at the last minute, block the $10 billion Shell ethane cracker plant (about a year from being completed) from ever starting up. Perhaps Biden’s “victory” has given them a little boost of irrational exuberance? In 2015 the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) issued an air permit for the cracker plant. Shell needs to tweak the permit with new information. Antis are asking PA to deny the new tweaks, claiming Shell wants to pollute the region even more. Shell says the tweaks reflect new realities, including LOWER emissions.
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Weekly Shale Drilling Permits for PA, OH, WV: Oct. 19-23

For a second week in a row, all three M-U states issued new shale drilling permits last week. Pennsylvania issued 6 new permits, Ohio issued 5 new permits, and West Virginia issued 3 new permits.
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Weekly Shale Drilling Permits for PA, OH, WV: Oct. 5-9

Only Pennsylvania issued permits to drill new shale wells last week in the Appalachian region. Neither Ohio nor West Virginia issued any new drilling permits from Oct. 5-9. In PA, some 20 permits were issued in both the northeast and southwest parts of the state.
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Antis Organize “Nurdle Patrols” to Police Shell Cracker

A group of anti-fossil nutters who devoted themselves to blocking Marcellus/Utica drilling around the Ambridge Reservoir have turned their attention to the Shell ethane cracker plant in Beaver County. They wanted to stop the cracker from getting built, but given the plant is now 70% built and it’s a 100% guarantee it will get done and go online, the nutters have turned their attention to aggressive monitoring of the plant and the pollution, they say, that will come from it.
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2 Yrs After Explosion Revolution Pipe in Beaver Co. Begins Repairs

Energy Transfer (ET), builder and operator of the Revolution Pipeline in southwestern Pennsylvania, last week received permission from the state Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) to reroute a section that “slipped” after record rainfall two years ago, resulting in an explosion in Beaver County.
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DOE Secretary Visits Shell PA Cracker Site, Talks Up Fossil Fuels

We love U.S. Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette. He’s smart, articulate, and a supporter of all forms of energy, including fossil fuels. He also doesn’t suffer climate change fools well. Brouillette visited the Shell ethane cracker plant under construction in southwestern PA yesterday. He had some great things to say about petrochemicals, fracking, and (yes) even about so-called climate change.
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Shell Builds COVID Testing Lab at Cracker Site, Adds More Workers

Last week we brought you news that Shell had temporarily suspended adding back some 300 workers per week at its ethane cracker construction site in Beaver County, PA following a spike in COVID-19 coronavirus cases (see Shell Stops Adding Workers at Cracker Site After New Virus Cases). The new news is that as of today, Shell has resumed adding workers back because they’ve built their own COVID testing lab *on site* at the cracker facility. They can now get test COVID results in 4 hours instead of 4-6 days. Sometimes you just have to do it yourself.
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Shell Stops Adding Workers at Cracker Site After New Virus Cases

When the COVID-19 coronavirus hit, Shell stopped all work on its mighty cracker plant in Beaver County, PA, 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 300 workers each week. Roughly 3,500 work on-site now. Because of a spike in new coronavirus cases among workers, Shell has temporarily stopped adding back new workers.
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