Shell planning Appalachian ethylene plant

By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, June 6
– Shell has preliminary plans to build a large ethylene plant in the Appalachian region of the US based on ethane from natural gas produced from the Marcellus shale.

The company hasn’t identified a site for the plant, which would include production of derivatives yet to be determined. “The leading option is polyethylene,” Shell said in a news release.

The news release treated the plans as indefinite and didn’t report capacity. But it described the prospective ethane cracker as “world-scale.”

Shell entered the Marcellus shale play last year with its acquisition of privately owned East Resources of Warrendale, Pa., for $4.7 billion (OGJ, June 7, 2010, Newsletter). Its leasehold in the play is now about 700,000 acres.

Shell’s US ethylene capacities are 1.18 million tonnes/year at Deer Park, Tex., and 1.45 million tonnes/year at Norco, La.

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