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INEOS Intrepid carries shale gas shipment to Europe

Published by , Editor - Hydrocarbon Engineering
Tanks and Terminals,

INEOS has confirmed that its ship, the INEOS Intrepid, has left the Markus Hook terminal near Philadelphia bound for Rafnes in Norway, carrying 27 500 m3 of US shale gas ethane.

This is the first time that US shale gas has ever been imported into Europe and finally gives the continent the chance to benefit from US shale gas economics which did so much to revitalise manufacturing in the USA.

The INEOS Intrepid is one of four specially designed Dragon class ships that will form part of a fleet of eight of the world’s largest ethane capable carriers. The INEOS Intrepid has ‘SHALE GAS FOR PROGRESS’ emblazoned along its 180 m length.

Jim Ratcliffe, the Chairman and Founder of INEOS said, “Shale gas economics has revitalised US manufacturing. When US shale gas arrives in Europe, it has the potential to do the same for European manufacturing.”

The project has included the long term chartering of eight Dragon class ships and will create a virtual pipeline across the Atlantic; connection to the new 300 mile Mariner East pipeline from the Marcellus shale in Western Pennsylvania to the Markus Hook deep water terminal near Philadelphia, with new export facilities and storage tanks.

To receive the gas, INEOS has built the largest two ethane gas storage tanks in Europe at Rafnes in Norway and Grangemouth in Scotland.

INEOS will use the ethane from US shale gas in its two gas crackers at Rafnes and Grangemouth, both as a fuel and as a feedstock. It is expected that shipments to Grangemouth will start later this year.

Jim Ratcliffe added, “We are nearing the end of a hugely ambitious project that has taken us five years. I am proud of everyone involved in it and I believe that INEOS is one of very few companies in the world who could have successfully pulled this off. I can’t wait for the INEOS Intrepid to finally get to Norway and complete the job.”

Adapted from press release by Rosalie Starling

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