New Marcellus Pipeline, Processing Project Strengthens Philadelphia-Pittsburgh Connection

Pittsburgh and Philadelphia faithful will be cheering for their respective teams next Sunday when the Eagles battle the Steelers at Heinz Field. As history has shown, there will be plenty of good-spirited banter in the run-up to the game (and afterwards) from both corners of the Commonwealth. And while there’s a clear split across Pennsylvania about who’s team is best, we can all agree that the recently announced closure to the NFL referee lockout is a universally good thing.

Likewise, another major announcement yesterday – related to the development, transportation and processing of clean-burning American natural gas from the Marcellus Shale – is receiving cheers from Pittsburgh to Philadelphia.

This from the Philadelphia Inquirer under the headline “Former Sunoco refinery in Marcus Hook will process Marcellus Shale products”:

Sunoco Inc. announced Wednesday that its shuttered Marcus Hook refinery would be reborn as a facility to process Marcellus Shale natural-gas products, fueling new construction and traffic through the Delaware River port. Sunoco’s pipeline subsidiary, Sunoco Logistics Partners L.P., is moving forward with a plan to transport high-value propane and ethane by pipeline from Western Pennsylvania to Marcus Hook, where the materials will be processed in a new plant and shipped by sea to domestic and export markets.

State officials hailed the project – which Sunoco calls Mariner East – as a boost for Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale industry by connecting the areas producing natural gas in Western Pennsylvania to markets linked to Philadelphia. “I have long held that the Marcellus Shale is an important resource that over time would benefit the entire commonwealth,” Gov. Corbett said in a statement. The pipeline project is the latest industrial venture built on confidence that the Marcellus Shale, where full-scale production began barely four years ago, represents a long-term reliable energy supply.

And under the headline “Sunoco’s Marcus Hook plant gets boost from Marcellus Shale project,” the Delaware County Times reports this:

Sunoco Logistics Partners LP announced they reaped a successful open season for the Mariner East project — a new future for the former Marcus Hook refinery — bringing with it a potential of 450 construction jobs. The 178,000-barrel-per-day Delaware County refinery was idled in December after Sunoco Inc. officials announced their intent to end refining due to plummeting financial returns that placed the company in jeopardy of bankruptcy.

Gov. Tom Corbett highlighted the Marcellus Shale’s role in the project. … “By literally linking Western Pennsylvania resources to markets in Eastern Pennsylvania and beyond, this project represents the first step in achieving that vision. It has the added benefits of creating jobs across Pennsylvania and breathing new life into the former Marcus Hook refinery site.”

This important investment is yet another example of the far-reaching and positive impact associated with safe American natural gas development. And while some 300 miles separate Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, this project has the potential and promise to create more jobs and economic activity across the Commonwealth, helping to revive the region’s manufacturing base, thanks to responsible Marcellus Shale development.

Here are press releases from Sunoco Logistics Partners, Range Resources Corp., MarkWest Energy Partners, and INEOS Europe AG. For more Marcus Hook-related information, click here.

Have questions about Marcellus Shale development? Please visit LearnAboutShale.