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.

The natural gas will come out of the ground in West Virginia and be processed here in the state.

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.

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  • gandyman

    I bet you would have a little more tolerance if you were profiting from the oil and gas that Antero pumps "zero tolerance".

    • zero tolerance

      Actually I greatly support the industry of Oil and Gas and have been a beneficiary of it for many years. Regardless of my benefits from the industry it does not provide them with a "free pass" from me.

      Water trucks destroying bridges and roadways, the endless mud/dust from trucks, and the "secret" fracking chemical recepies which are being pumped into the ground water with little if any oversight from the WVDEP/EPA should be a concern of everyone. Hiding behind the guise of a "secret chemical recipe" to prevent encroachment by other fracking companies is ludicrous. Ever heard of a patent? Its disclosure of the fracking chemical ingredients that is withheld.

      I'm very confident in saying that if the public was aware of what chemicals were being pumped underground into their water tables then there would be significant concern.

      • Ragweed

        Zero - What chemicals are you referring to? If you know what they are why aren't you saying, or are you just trying to stir up something?

        I'm not for giving the drillers a free rein, but unless you have something specific to say, then don't say anything until you do.

        And , by the way, they aren't pumping these chemicals into the water tables. The water tables are thousands of feet above the fracking site.

        • zero tolerance

          Since the moderator did not approve of my previous post I would simply suggest that you research

          "WV Fracking Trade Secrets"

          • zero tolerance

            Then again just read Senate Bill 243 of 2013.

            It was passed by the 2013 WV legislature and allows fracking chemical ingredients to be withheld under the guise that it is a "trade secret"

            Obviously there is fierce competition with fracking methods and recipes probably consistent with the Pepsi vs Coke wars.

  • zero tolerance

    Maybe they can return some of that revenue back into and fix the infrastructures and ecosystems that they have destroyed.

  • Whip

    The majority of this gas will end up on the gulf coast. Major investment by Exxon, Chevron and Dow Chemical are in that part of the country. The steel is already going into the ground on world scale projects in Texas and Louisiana. I think these players understand where the gas is going. I'm hoping this works for the Parkersburg area and many jobs are created. But does seem strange that none of the major players in energy or chemicals seem interested in West Virginia.

    • Larry

      That's true, and unfortunately nobody else is really interested in WV either, except to make fun of us.

      • Tom

        It's all relative.

      • Whip

        Larry it just seems strange to me that none of these major companies are interested in investing resources in WV. It is also strange that little if any meaningful work has happened at the Shell investment in Pennsylvania.

        • Larry

          I agree completely, I said before this "cracker" will never go, I still believe that.

  • David Kennedy

    AND the plastics are made from COAL...
    a marriage made in the chemistry lab and the business board rooms.

    What will that plastic be used for?...automobiles and everything else, of course.

  • Chef Camille