WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) today urged Shell Oil Company to bring a natural gas processing facility to Pennsylvania, which could create thousands of jobs and leverage billions of dollars in private investment to the region. Shell is considering locations to construct a large facility to break down natural gas, which is abundant in Pennsylvania, into substances used to produce plastics, fibers, and automotive products, which would also boost Pennsylvania manufacturing.
“Pennsylvania is at the epicenter of the rapidly growing Marcellus shale natural gas industry, making it the ideal location for a processing plant that will create thousands of local jobs,” said Senator Casey. “Pennsylvania has the skilled workers, natural resources and innovative research network needed to support this plant and boost Pennsylvania’s economy.”
Shell is considering building the plant, called an ethane cracker, in the northeast so it can process gas extracted from the Marcellus shale formation. There is currently no infrastructure in the region to process the natural gas co-product, requiring it to be shipped elsewhere. Some estimates indicate that the construction of a new processing complex could attract up to $16 billion in private investment and create thousands of jobs in the process.
“I am optimistic that a Shell facility will be the foundation of an industrial and manufacturing expansion that will bring thousands of construction and production jobs to Pennsylvania,” Senator Casey wrote today to Shell President Mark Quartermain. “I encourage you to take this opportunity to build on Pennsylvania’s long manufacturing history and invest in the region.”
The full text of Senator Casey’s letter to Shell President Mark Quartermain is below:
Mr. Mark Quartermain
Shell Energy North America, L.P.
Dear Mr. Quartermain:
As Shell considers plans to build an ethane-fed cracker plant in the Appalachian region, I am writing to urge you to build the plant in Pennsylvania. As you know, there is currently no infrastructure in the northeast United States to process the ethane extracted from Marcellus Shale natural gas. Shell is uniquely positioned to supply a cracker plant in the region with ethane from its own wells, as well as the many other producers who are looking for buyers. A Shell plant could be ideally located in Pennsylvania to take advantage of the combined great potential that Marcellus Shale resources and the state have to offer.
Pennsylvania has everything needed to make it a top choice for Shell’s facilities. We have a proven work force, access to water, communities with a long history of working cooperatively with industry, an extensive rail transportation network and appropriate real estate. Pennsylvania also has an exceptional higher education network which will mesh well with Shell’s commitment to innovation.
I am hopeful that Shell will use all that Pennsylvania has to offer to explore natural gas as an energy source and to supply the increasing demand for petrochemical feedstock and products. As you know, the end uses for these substances will help stimulate manufacturing capabilities in numerous categories, including fibers, agricultural chemicals, plastics and automotive products.
Petrochemical plants are not without risks, but I have faith that Shell’s long experience will help it to design and build its facilities to run cleanly, safely and efficiently. I am optimistic that a Shell facility will be the foundation of an industrial and manufacturing expansion that will bring thousands of construction and production jobs to Pennsylvania. I encourage you to take this opportunity to build on Pennsylvania’s long manufacturing history and invest in the region.
Thank you for your attention to this important matter and I look forward to continue working with you.
Robert P. Casey, Jr.
United States Senator