Thx to Scotland Shale Ban, Marc/Utica Gets a Huge New Ethane Market

ineosSometimes the boneheaded decisions of others can benefit us. Take, for example, Scotland–where the government has placed a moratorium on fracking until…until the cows come home? Or is it sheep? The Swiss-based company INEOS is a young but rapidly growing chemical company with roughly $40 billion in sales per year. INEOS’ competitors would be companies like BASF, Bayer and Dow Chemical. INEOS has its fingers in a lot of pies. One of those pies is an ethane cracker plant in Grangemouth, Scotland. Because Scotland has not, and apparently will not, frack its own abundant, clean supply of natural gas (which would produce associated amounts of ethane), INEOS is forced to look elsewhere for large supplies of ethane–or shut the plant down. Rather than shut it down, INEOS has contracted with Marcellus/Utica drillers who send their ethane to the Marcus Hook refinery near Philadelphia where it then gets loaded onto ships the length of two football fields–to carry the ethane to places like Grangemouth. The first such shipment of Marcellus/Utica ethane heading to Grangemouth is set to arrive over the next few days. And Scotland’s tragic loss is our great gain, because INEOS has signed contracts to keep our ethane flowing to Grangemouth for the next 15 years…

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