First Ineos shale ship is underway

Ineos shale ship Intrepid
Ineos shale ship Intrepid

Petrochemical giant Ineos has confirmed its first shipment of shale gas has left the USA bound for Europe.

The Ineos Intrepid left east coast port Philadelphia last week carrying 27,500m3 of US ethane and is now on its way to Rafnes in Norway. This is the first time that US shale gas has ever been imported into Europe and Ineos plans to start shipments of the gas to its base in Grangemouth later this year.

Over the last couple of years work has been taking place to build ethane storage tanks at Rafnes and Grangemouth.

Ineos boss Jim Ratcliffe said: “This is an important day for Ineos – 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.”

Ineos plan to use the US shale gas in its two gas crackers at Rafnes and Grangemouth as both fuel and feedstock.