American Oil and Gas Reporter - October 2016 - 80

SpecialReport: Natural Gas Update

U.S. Ethane Exports Arriving In Europe
MORGAN'S POINT, TX.-The first
shipment of ethane from the U.S. Gulf
Coast region departed Sept. 1 from Enterprise Products Partners' new export
terminal at Morgan's Point, Tx. After
setting sail from the Houston Ship Channel, the JS INEOS Intrepid carrier traveled
3,500 miles to deliver the 265,000 barrels
of ethane to an INEOS petrochemical facility at Rafnes, Norway, in mid-September.
Morgan's Point is the world's largest
ethane export facility, with a design
loading capacity of 10,000 barrels an
hour and a daily export capacity of 200,000
barrels. According to Enterprise, the driving force behind development of the terminal is growing international demand
for abundant U.S. ethane from shale
plays, providing the global petrochemical
industry with a low-cost feedstock option
and supply diversification.
"By providing producers with access
to the export market, the Morgan's Point
terminal also is facilitating continued development of U.S. energy reserves," the
company stated in announcing the plant's
inaugural ethane shipment.
Supply for the new export terminal is

sourced from Enterprise's natural gas liquids fractionation and storage complex
in Mont Belvieu, Tx., and is transported
through a new 18-mile, 24-inch diameter
pipeline that was completed last February.
In addition, the Mont Belvieu complex
is connected to ethane production from
the Marcellus and Utica shale regions
through the ATEX Pipeline, Enterprise
points out.
The Danish-flagged INEOS Intrepid
also had the distinction of carrying the
first ethane export cargo shipped from
the United States earlier this year when
it sailed from Sunoco Logistics Partners'
35,000 bbl/d Marcus Hook complex on
the Delaware River 20 miles southwest
of Philadelphia. That cargo of 173,000
barrels of ethane produced from the Marcellus and Utica plays also was delivered
to INEOS' Rafnes plant.
'Virtual Pipeline'
The Intrepid is one of a fleet of eight
new-build multigas carriers that INEOS
is commissioning to create a "virtual
pipeline across the Atlantic" to bring
ethane and other natural gas liquids products from the United States to Europe.

The world's largest ethane export facility-Enterprise Products Partners' Morgan's Point
terminal on the Houston Ship Channel-loaded its first cargo aboard the INEOS Intrepid
in early September, transporting 265,000 barrels of ethane to a petrochemical plant in
Norway. Three weeks later, another INEOS bulk carrier delivered 173,000 barrels of ethane
to the Grangemouth plant in Scotland, marking the first shipment of U.S. ethane into the
United Kingdom.

80 THE AMERICAN OIL & GAS REPORTER

The ships-named Intrepid, Insight, Ingenuity, Inspiration, Innovation, Intuition,
Invention and Independence-are specially
designed Dragon-class vessels that INEOS
says will deliver more than 800,000 tons
of bulk ethane annually to its plants in
Norway and Scotland.
Importing ethane from the United
States will help revolutionize the European
chemicals industry by reducing its costs
for both feedstock and energy, says INEOS
Chairman and founder Jim Ratcliffe.
"Shale gas economics have revitalized
U.S. manufacturing," he states. "U.S.
shale gas has the potential to do the same
for European manufacturing."
The Dragon-class ships measure 575
feet long and are fitted with advanced bilobed tanks to carry 27,500 cubic meters
of ethane cooled to -130 degrees Fahrenheit, according to Ratcliffe. The vessels
are equipped with dual Wartsila liquefied
natural gas-fueled engines and can reach
a maximum speed of 20 knots.
Each carrier features a different slogan
painted along its hull. For example, Intrepid carries the slogan "Shale Gas for
Progress," sister vessel INEOS Insight
has "Shale Gas For Manufacturing," INEOS Ingenuity has "Shale Gas For Chemicals," and INEOS Inspiration has "Shale
Gas for Europe" painted on 100-meter
sections of their flanks.
To receive the shipments, INEOS has
built the two largest ethane storage tanks
in Europe at its crackers in Rafnes and
Grangemouth in Scotland. Ratcliffe says
the plants are using ethane from U.S.
shale gas both as a fuel and as a feedstock.
On Sept. 27, the INEOS Insight docked
at Grangemouth, located near Falkirk,
with 173,000 barrels of ethane loaded at
the Marcus Hook terminal in Pennsylvania.
"This is the first time ethane from U.S.
shale gas has been shipped to the United
Kingdom," Ratcliffe reports. "This is a
game changer for British manufacturing.
It will provide British industry with the
chance to benefit from U.S. shale gas
economics. Its arrival guarantees the security of thousands of jobs in Scotland
and could spark a shale gas revolution."
In preparation for the start of U.S.
ethane imports, the second train of Grangemouth's KG ethylene plant was brought
back to life with successful recommissioning trials conducted last spring, some



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