First shipment of fracked shale gas set to arrive in UK

27th September 2016 | Commercial Energy

Less than 24 hours after the Labour Party said it would ban fracking, a US tanker will bring the first shipment of fracked shale gas to the UK. Ineos, the company founded and chaired by low-profile billionaire Jim Ratcliffe, will take a delivery of a tanker full of ethane at its Grangemouth plant, the first fruit of a $2bn investment.

Fracking is subject to a moratorium imposed by the devolved government in Holyrood, but the Grangemouth plant will receive 2,500 cubic meters of ethane from western Pennsylvania where shale gas production has boomed. These imports will replace dwindling supplies from the UK’s North Sea reserves.

The ethane will be fed into “crackers” to convert the gas into ethylene which is used in the production of a range of plastic products. Ratcliffe claims that shale gas can stop the decline in British manufacturing.

If the Labour Party wins a general election, it will ban fracking and production of shale gas in the UK so the import of fracked shale gas will be its only source. The Labour Party stance is that fracking is not compatible with tackling climate change and dependence on fossil fuels will only delay the move to clean energy.

Ineos has begun importing from the US, where there is a surplus of shale gas, was awarded 21 new licences in December, including sites in Yorkshire, the north-west and east Midlands. Progress has been hampered by tardiness in obtaining planning permission.

More information available on the website below