First US Shale Gas Arrives In Europe

Published at 04:08PM - 23/03/16

First US shale gas arrives in Europe, marking the first commercial phase of a $2 billon investment by operators INOES.

The shipment arrived in the Norwegian Port of Rafnes Wednesday, onboard the company’s own purpose built carrier INEOS Intrepid, signalling delivery of the first exports from the US.

“This is a strategically important day for INEOS and Europe. We know that shale gas economics revitalised US manufacturing and for the first time ever Europe can access this essential energy and raw material source too”, said INEOS CEO, Jim Ratcliffe.

First US Shale Gas Arrives In Norway

One of four specially designed Dragon class vessels; the INEOS Intrepid is the world’s largest multi gas carrier, according to INEOS, and arrived carrying a cargo of 27,500m3 of ethane.

INEOS intends to eventually commission eight, providing a virtual pipeline shipping US shale gas to its two petrochemical sites in Norway and Scotland, as US shale gas replaces the reducing gas feed from the North Sea.


INEOS Shale Gas

The project has been complex- involving the design and long term charter of all eight Dragon class ships, connection of the new 300 mile Mariner East pipeline from the Marcellus shale in Western Pennsylvania to the Marcus Hook deep water terminal near Philadelphia, and the creation of new export facilities and storage tanks.

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

To date the project has required a total investment of around US$2 billion from INEOS.

Shale Gas Europe

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.

Ratcliffe continued saying: “We are nearing the end of a hugely ambitious project that has taken us five years and cost $2 billion, as we begin supply of ethane from shale to our sites in Europe.”

“This is a world first and I am incredibly proud of everyone involved in it. I believe that INEOS is one of very companies in the world who could have successfully pulled this off.”