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Home >> About >> Industry News >> February 2012


Corporate Partners

Industry News

   + February 2012


February 14, 2012


Marcellus Shale Natural Gas Energizing US Chemical Industry




Recent Industry News

+ Marcellus Shale Natural Gas Energizing US Chemical Industry


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With the expansion and development of natural gas deposits across the United States, primarily in the Marcellus Shale Formation, the US chemical industry is experiencing its own boom.

The surplus of natural gas thrown off by rigs across the US due to advancement in horizontal and hydraulic fracturing techniques have driven down prices – making it more attractive for chemical companies to utilize the excess natural gas, reopen moth-balled plants and build new ones. In Charleston, West Virginia - with its proximity to the Marcellus, local businesses are lobbying for an enormous new chemical plant that would deal with ethane cracking, which would bring the region and state thousands of new jobs.

Not including the thousand of construction jobs needed to build the facility - the plant is projected to employ more than one hundred of new full time professional engineers and technicians.

The ethane cracking plant would “crack” ethane, breaking it down to the molecular level thus allowing the facility to turn it into ethylene - an essential component used to produce a wide variety of chemicals used in a wide variety of industrial and consumer products.

Unlike most natural gas which contain anywhere from 4-8% ethane, the Marcellus natural gas contains as much as 14 – 16% ethane, making development in the Midwest a prime location for future chemical industry growth.

Less than a decade ago, rising natural gas prices threatened the survival many of the process plants in Ohio, West Virginia and Pennsylvania. The extraction of oil, wet and dry gas from the Marcellus and Utica shale deposits have attracted giants like Dominion, Caiman Energy, Mark West and Shell to break ground on projects that will pump billions of dollars of direct investment and result in thousands of new jobs in America's heartland.

Some information courtesy NPR



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