In August 2016, Shell Pipeline Co. (a subsidiary of Shell Appalachia) announced plans for the “Falcon Ethane Pipeline System,” a 97-mile pipeline network intended to feed Shell’s ethane cracker facility in Beaver County, Pennsylvania. The Falcon will carry more than 107,000 barrels of ethane per day through Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Ohio, to Shell’s facility, which would then “crack,” or break apart, ethane molecules to create ethylene and polyethylene. The Shell cracker would be the first step in building a regional petrochemical hub, which FracTracker has written about in previous articles.
Shell submitted permit applications to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PA DEP) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in September 2017. Applications state that tree clearing will commence in fall 2018, construction will occur from spring 2019 through fall 2019, and that the Falcon will be operational by spring 2020.