Bayer issued a statement Thursday, saying the Institute site, and another Bayer property in New Martinsville, were still in the running for an additional cracker in Appalachia.
"We remain in active discussions with other companies who are interested in building an ethane cracker at our sites," said Bryan Iams, a Bayer spokesman. "This announcement only reinforces our belief that this region and its various industries will play a key role in the responsible development of the Marcellus Shale resource and the future Utica Shale opportunity."
Corky DeMarco, executive director of the West Virginia Oil and Gas Association, said he was "extremely disappointed" that Shell didn't decide to build a cracker in West Virginia.
"We were pretty confident we were going to get a cracker in the Northern Panhandle," DeMarco said. "It's pretty disturbing. We started about two years ago, and put a lot of time and effort into this."
However, DeMarco said his group remains confident that more than one cracker will be built in the Appalachian region.
DeMarco said he recognizes that the future Shell cracker facility -- located about 25 miles from the West Virginia border -- will create jobs and likely spur development in the Northern Panhandle.
DeMarco said the real prize would be landing a cracker in West Virginia.
"Yes, there will be downstream benefits," DeMarco said. "But if you have the anchor, you have the first leg on the table."
Staff writer Phil Kabler contributed to this report.
Reach Eric Eyre at erice...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-4869.