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An antique Shell gasoline pump at an Ohio oil and gas museum.

Shell: One of World's Oldest Oil Companies Shifts Its Focus To Gas

Background

Scott Detrow / StateImpact Pennsylvania

An antique Shell gasoline pump at an Ohio oil and gas museum

Royal Dutch Shell is one of the largest and oldest energy companies in the world. Shell is active in drilling for natural gas in Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale formation, with a focus on Tioga County.

Shell is also considering building a gas processing plant, called an ethane cracker, in Beaver County. Governor Corbett is convinced the petrochemical plant would kick-start a chemical processing boom near Pittsburgh, and is pushing to grant the company a $1.65 billion tax credit, spread over 25 years, to help convince it to build in Pennsylvania.

Shell would already receive a 15-year exemption from state and local taxes at the site, due to legislation signed into law in February.

In June 2012, Shell experienced a methane migration problem at a Tioga County well site.

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Cheap Natural Gas Means More Chemical Manufacturing

Using Shell’s potential Beaver County ethane cracker as an entry point, the Wall Street Journal examines how the domestic shale boom is tied to more chemical production: It isn’t just Beaver County reaping the benefits of cheap gas. Plunging prices have turned the U.S. into one of the most profitable places in the world to [...]

Perilous Pathways: Hunting Down Pennsylvania’s Abandoned Wells

There are likely 200,000 abandoned oil and gas wells in Pennsylvania. At  best, we know where about four percent of them are. This is a problem because abandoned wells provide a pathway for natural gas to seep to the surface, where the methane can pool in water wells, basements or other enclosed spaces, and trigger [...]

Perilous Pathways: How Drilling Near An Abandoned Well Produced a Methane Geyser

A geyser of methane and gas sprays out of the ground near a Shell drilling site in Tioga County. StateImpact Pennsylvania obtained this picture from a nearby landowner.

In February 1932, the United States was in the midst of the Great Depression.  Franklin Roosevelt was plotting a run for the White House. And in Union Township, Tioga County, the Morris Run Coal company had just finished drilling a gas well on a farm owned by Mr. W.J. Butters. The Butters well was 5,385 feet [...]

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