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U.S. Department of Energy report backs needs for natural gas storage hub


Special to The Journal

CHARLESTON, W.Va.  — A new report released by the U.S. Department of Energy cites the potential of West Virginia and other Appalachian states for the location of centralized storage hub for natural gas production.

The report, released Tuesday, takes a look at West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Ohio as potential locations for an ethane storage hub — a byproduct of natural gas. Ethane, when broken down through a process called “cracking,” creates ethene and is a common product used in the manufacturing of plastics, chemicals, insulation and fertilizer. West Virginia, Ohio and Pennsylvania are homes to the Marcellus and Utica shale plays, where a combination of hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling has created an energy boom.

“There is an incredible opportunity to establish an ethane storage and distribution hub in the Appalachian region and build a robust petrochemical industry in Appalachia,” said Rick Perry, secretary of the Department of Energy, when announcing the report at the annual National Petroleum Council Meeting in Washington D.C. “As our report shows, there is sufficient global need, and enough regional resources, to help the U.S. gain a significant share of the global petrochemical market.”

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