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NETL Regional Workforce Initiative to Present Ethane Storage and Distribution Hub Webinar Sept. 12

NETL’s Regional Workforce Initiative (RWFI) will present a one-hour webinar addressing the potential for an Appalachian ethane storage hub at 11 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 12. The webinar is free, but participants must register here.

Participants will learn the basics of ethane storage and distribution, potential downstream manufacturing activity, and key findings of a 2018 analysis that identified the Appalachian region as a potential location for an ethane storage hub. The webinar will address implications for the nation and the Appalachian region specifically.

Some large hubs for natural gas liquids (NGL), including ethane, have been established in the United States, but the boom in crude oil and natural gas production from shale formations transformed global energy markets and presented opportunities for establishment of additional hubs to meet growing demands.

The United States has become the largest combined crude oil and natural gas producer in the world. In addition to crude oil and natural gas resources, some shale plays provide additional resources in the form of NGLs, including ethane, which are separated from raw natural gas streams at natural gas processing plants. The NGLs produced by the plants are key feedstocks for the petrochemical industry and production of plastics and resins.

The 2018 analysis that will be discussed in the webinar considered a range of relevant factors related to ethane storage possibilities including: projected trends and changes in ethane production; location of production facilities; capacities of established ethane storage hubs in North America; and liquids pipelines. The analysis particularly focused on identifying where significant growth in ethane production is likely to occur and where ethane storage hubs are not currently available, like the Appalachia region.

The NETL webinar will provide insights about ethane storage and how it works, and potential workforce effects from ethane storage and manufacturing. NETL RWFI Federal Coordinator Anthony Armaly will present an introduction to NETL and RWFI and Justin Adder, economist with NETL’s Energy Markets Analysis Team will discuss the ethane storage report.

The mission of NETL’s RWFI is to create a platform for regional stakeholders to engage the Laboratory and other federal agencies in collaborative workforce development efforts. These efforts complement energy and advanced manufacturing innovation and research by addressing the necessary workforce assessments and training. The RWFI works to identify skills and training gaps related to energy and advanced manufacturing jobs.