CHARLESTON, W.Va. – West Virginia natural gas will be used at the proposed cracker plant in Wood County. Antero Resources made the announcement Wednesday.
The company has signed an agreement to become an ethane supplier for the Ascent petrochemical complex in Washington, West Virginia. Antero intends to provide 30,000 barrels of ethane per day to the project headed up by Odebrecht and Braskem.
Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin called the announcement good news for the state’s economy.
“[Antero will provide] at least 40 percent of the ethane they will be using in West Virginia at this plant,” said Tomblin. “Obviously this is the first great step.”
The governor stressed it eases some of his concerns.
“The thing that I do not want to see is our natural resources, our natural gas drilled and produced in West Virginia put in a pipeline and shipped south,” said Tomblin. “I think it’s just so important that we keep all that and use it here in West Virginia.”
The cracker plant is still technically in the “proposed” phase. However, back in January Odebrecht purchased the property near Parkersburg to begin development. Gov. Tomblin said he’s heard construction isn’t too far away.
“Possibly by the first quarter of next year we could start to see construction. It is my understanding that there is a team on the ground, here in West Virginia from Odebrecht,” explained the governor.
Antero resources is based out of Denver, Colorado but has a field office located in Bridgeport. All its operations are in the Appalachian Basin and the company operates 15 drilling rigs in West Virginia. The company currently employs 264 workers.
Tomblin is hopeful that Odebrecht will purchase the other 60 percent of natural gas for the Ascent plant right here at home.
“[I want to see] that product stay in West Virginia to be used in West Virginia by West Virginians,” stressed Tomblin.
The natural gas is used to make ethane to manufacture polyethylene, which is used in making plastics.