By David Madden

MARCUS HOOK, Pa. (CBS) — Delaware County has released the results of a $100,000 study looking into the future of the closed Sunoco oil refinery in Marcus Hook.

Seven alternate uses have been proposed, all but one dealing with the processing and transportation of natural gas and its byproducts from the Marcellus shale.

Cracking is just one of the seven suggestions cited in the report compiled by IHS, a Colorado-based energy analysis firm.

Capital costs range from $50 million to $6 billion, depending on the option, with potential employment listed at between 45 and 400.

But Joseph Waldo, the author of the report, says that no one is tied down to a single option here.

“A mixed use of the facility is going to probably be one that addresses all of those tradeoffs in the best way,” he tells KYW Newsradio.  “You maximize the job creation potential.”

The next step will be generating interest from buyers — a process that could take months or even years.  But officials believe this facility could become part of a major petrochemical center in this part of the country, if things play out just right.

See the recent Regional Affairs Council special series, “The Delaware Valley Unrefined”

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