The Shale Crescent is located in the Ohio Valley and is the epicenter of the Marcellus and Utica Shale play. The natural resources make the region a potential economic powerhouse.
According to David Hill, president of David Hill, Inc., “if Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia were a country, we would be the #3 natural gas producer in the world! Only the rest of the USA without The Shale Crescent #1, and Russia #2 produce more natural gas.”
Because the region produces a lot of natural gas, many jobs will be created in industries that are closely related. Cracker plants, like the one shell is building outside of Pittsburgh and the proposed PTT cracker in Belmont County, will consume ethane produced from natural gas output. The cracker plants will convert the ethane into polyethylene pellets which will be consumed by plastic manufacturing companies throughout the region. The region is filled with companies that utilize plastics to manufacture automobile and computer components, containers, films and packaging to keep food fresh along with hundreds of other products. The benefits to the plastics industry in the Ohio Valley are massive.
- Local supply translates to steady pricing. Today, most of the country’s polyethylene is made by cracker plants in the Gulf Coast and prices can fluctuate because of impacts from the hurricane season.
- Lower transportation costs. No more rail from the gulf. Over-the-road transportation companies provide regional deliveries, which equates to significantly lower pellet transportation costs.
- Close proximity to end users. The Ohio Valley is within a day’s drive of 50% of the US and Canadian markets which will be beneficial to the region’s plastic producers.
There are many economic benefits to ponder in the years to come as a result of the energy boom, and the Shale Crescent region will be right in the middle of it all.
Greg Kozera 2019, “It’s bigger than you think! What Ohio’s sale revolution can mean”, Ohio Gas & Oil, February 2019