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ExxonMobil scouting for potential cracker site in Beaver County

BEAVER COUNTY, Pa. — ExxonMobil Corp. has been quietly scouting Beaver County for a suitable location to build a petrochemical plant that could pursue the same kinds of plastics manufacturing as Royal Dutch Shell's ethane cracker now under construction, multiple sources have told the Pittsburgh Business Times.

ExxonMobil (NYSE: XOM), one of the world's largest companies, is well-known as an oil producer, but it, like Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE: RDS.A) and other multinational oil and gas companies, also has a petrochemical division to convert fossil fuel byproducts like ethane and propane to plastics. Sources said that ExxonMobil has been looking at Appalachia for a potential petrochemical plant for the past three or four years, spurred by Shell's construction in Beaver County as well as other potential crackers by PTT Global Chemical in Belmont County, Ohio, and Braskem near Parkersburg, West Virginia.