Range Recalls 'Incredibly Creative Solution' for Marcellus/Utica 'Problem' | Rigzone
by Matthew V. Veazey
Wednesday, April 26, 2017
'Dragon-class' and VLEC vessels facilitate transoceanic trade of surplus US ethane.
On March 9, 1776, the Scottish economist Adam Smith published his influential book The Wealth of Nations, which has left an indelible mark on international trade ever since. Interestingly, exactly 240 years later a pioneering liquefied natural gas (LNG) carrier departed a Philadelphia-area terminal bound for Europe and opened a new chapter in the global gas business.
Laden with more than 27,000 cubic meters of ethane, the Ineos Intrepid – a new class of LNG vessel – embarked on a nearly 4,000-mile voyage across the Atlantic Ocean to Ineos' ethane cracker in Rafnes, Norway. As Ineos noted at the time, never before had shale gas produced in the United States been shipped to Europe. Previously ethane had only been transported in small vessels on short routes, according to ship designer Evergas. The Ineos Intrepid is one of eight "Dragon-class" vessels – the world's largest multigas LNG-ethane carriers – that will ultimately constitute what Evergas calls Ineos' "seaborne pipeline" linking the U.S. and Europe. In addition to the Rafnes facility, the Dragon-class carriers deliver ethane cargoes to Ineos' cracker at Grangemouth, U.K.
Solving The 'Ethane Problem'
"It was an incredibly creative solution to what was at one time viewed as a problem – what to do with our ethane," recalled Jeff Ventura, Range Resources' president and CEO. "In T....