Energy. Environment. Economy.


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


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.

In June 2016, Shell Chemical Appalachia LLC announced it would build a massive petrochemical processing plant, called an ethane cracker, in Beaver County.

Supporters expect the project to kick-start a chemical processing boom near Pittsburgh. Former Governor Tom Corbett (R) pushed to grant the company a $1.65 billion tax credit, spread over 25 years, to help convince it to build in Pennsylvania. Shell already was to receive a 15-year exemption from state and local taxes at the site, due to earlier legislation.

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

Latest Posts

Beaver County ‘upskills’ to prepare for Shell plant

In early June, after years of waiting and negotiating, Shell Chemical Appalachia signed on to build a multi-billion-dollar ethane cracker plant in Potter Township, Beaver County. The plant will turn ethane, which the Marcellus Shale creates an excess of, into a compound that is used in the creation of plastics. With heavy tax incentives, Pennsylvania [...]

Shell says giant ethane cracker plant will go ahead near Pittsburgh

The oil giant Shell on Tuesday gave the final go-ahead for construction of a major petrochemical complex in western Pennsylvania where ethane from the Marcellus and Utica shales will be used to make ethylene for the manufacture of plastics. The long-awaited multi-billion-dollar plant will be built in Potter Township, Beaver County, about 30 miles northwest [...]

PA, WV, OH team up on shale gas related manufacturing and chemical development

After years of competing against one another to land big petrochemical projects powered by their growing natural gas industries, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio announced Tuesday they would work together to market and develop their region as a center for shale-related manufacturing. The states announced a three-year cooperation agreement at the Tri-State Shale Summit in [...]

Enviro groups appeal air permit for Shell’s ethane cracker

Environmental groups are appealing the air quality permit state regulators gave Shell for its proposed ethane cracker petrochemical plant in Beaver County. The appeal is before the state’s Environmental Hearing Board. A hearing date has not been set. The groups are arguing the state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) should have required more stringent monitoring [...]

Shell plans more public meetings on proposed ethane cracker

Shell Chemicals is planning a pair of public meetings to discuss its proposed ethane cracker plant for western Pennsylvania. If built, the multi-billion dollar plant would convert natural gas liquids from the Marcellus Shale into products used by the plastics industry. Two identical meetings will be held Thursday, November 13th at the Lincoln Park Performing Arts [...]

Shell seeks to build docks for barges near proposed petrochemical plant

The Beaver County Times reports Shell Chemicals has filed a permit with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to build two docks and 24 smaller structures to moor barges near the site of its proposed ethane cracker in western Pennsylvania. From the article: When asked whether the application signaled a new level of commitment from Shell, [spokesman [...]

Shell taps Utica shale in northern Pennsylvania

Royal Dutch Shell announced today it has successfully drilled two new discovery gas wells in the Utica shale in Tioga county, signaling  the formation could be bigger than previously thought. The company has drilling rights to about 430,000 acres in the discovery area and says the wells show the Utica’s “sweet spot” extends into Northern [...]

Shell’s proposed ethane cracker could be a big emitter

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports Shell’s proposed ethane cracker in western Pennsylvania could be a significant new source of air pollution. The company has not yet committed to building the multi-billion dollar petrochemical plant, but has applied to the Department of Environmental Protection for an air quality permit for the site in Monaca, Beaver County. More from [...]

Shell holds public meetings on proposed cracker plant

Shell is still weighing whether to build a multibillion dollar petrochemical plant in Beaver County. A spokesman for the company says it may spend another one or two years deciding. Although Shell first announced its interest in an industrial site outside Monaca over two years ago, Dan Carlson, who is general manager for new business [...]

About StateImpact

StateImpact seeks to inform and engage local communities with broadcast and online news focused on how state government decisions affect your lives.
Learn More »