First US Shale Gas Cargo Shipped to Europe

The 2015-built LNG multi-gas carrier JS Ineos Intrepid departed the Marcus Hook terminal near Philadelphia yesterday bound for Rafnes in Norway carrying the first US shale gas cargo ever shipped to Europe.

Loaded with 27,500 m3 of US shale gas ethane, which was cooled to -90ºC for the journey of 3,800 miles, the vessel is expected to travel nine to ten days on this journey, according to the owner of the vessel INEOS, a Swiss-headquartered manufacturer of petrochemicals.

INEOS added that the US shale gas should complement the reducing gas feed from the North Sea.

“This is an important day for INEOS and Europe. We know that shale gas economics revitalised US manufacturing and for the first time Europe can access this important energy and raw material source too,” Jim Ratcliffe, chairman and founder of INEOS, said.

The INEOS Intrepid is one of four Dragon class ships that will be a part of a fleet of eight of the world’s largest ethane capable carriers, according to the company.

In order to receive the gas, INEOS has built the largest two ethane gas storage tanks in Europe at Rafnes in Norway and Grangemouth in Scotland. The company plans to 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.

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