First US Shale Gas Arrives In Britain

  • Date: 27/09/16
  • BBC News

The first shipment of US shale gas is arriving in Scotland amid a fierce debate about the future of fracking in the UK.

 The JS Ineos Insight, which is carrying shale gas from Pennsylvania to Scotland.

A tanker carrying 27,500m3 of ethane from US shale fields is due to dock at Grangemouth, the refinery and petrochemicals plant owned by Ineos.

The company said the gas would replace dwindling North Sea supplies and secure the future of the plant’s workforce.

But many politicians and environmental groups have criticised the shipment.

The Scottish government – which has placed a moratorium on all fracking in Scotland while a study into its impact is carried out – said ministers were “unavailable to attend” the arrival of the shale gas shipment.

Jim Ratcliffe, Ineos founder and chairman, said: “This is a hugely important day for Ineos and the UK. Shale gas can help stop the decline of British manufacturing.”

The company said the shipment aboard the carrier Ineos Insight was the culmination of a £1.6bn investment resulting in eight tankers forming a “virtual pipeline” between the US and the UK and Norway.

Ineos argues that with the North Sea’s supply of ethane dwindling, plus costs, the shipments from the US are the only way of bringing in sufficient gas at low enough prices to maintain its olefins and polymers business at Grangemouth in the face of global competition.

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