When in 2016 the INEOS Intrepid left the Marcus Hook terminal in Pa., carrying 27,500m3 of ethane to its Norway destination, it marked the first time a product of U.S. shale gas had been imported to Europe. The buyer, Sir Jim Ratcliffe, CEO of global chemical manufacturer INEOS, hoped to revitalize European manufacturing the same way shale gas economics had for the U.S. That first delivery also served as the culmination of a five-year project by INEOS to build a virtual pipeline across the Atlantic. And there was more to come.
Reese Energy Consulting today is following the latest from INEOS, which is now the largest transporter of ethane from the U.S. to Europe and Asia. INEOS also happens to be one of the largest users of natural gas in Europe with 36 businesses on 194 sites in 29 countries.
You might recall back in February, INEOS snapped up a large chunk of Chesapeake’s Eagle Ford assets for $1.4 billion in its inaugural entry into U.S. onshore production. With convenient access to the Gulf Coast, the Chesapeake acquisition also served as the next step in a much grander plan. INEOS last June announced entering the LNG market and by December signed a 20-year agreement with Sempra for 1.4 mtpy of LNG from its $13 billion Port Arthur export terminal. Those volumes are set to be delivered to Germany in 2027. And it appears they’ll be traveling in style, too. Sir Ratcliffe has now announced a deal with Japan shipping giant MOL for two newbuild LNG carriers.