Tuesday, September 27, 2016

On the Firth of Forth with an ethane tanker

As a mad month of travelling nears its end, the Oilholic was up earlier today in the small hours of the morning sailing on the Firth of Forth, Scotland, observing Panamax tankers load up Forties crude from the North Sea at the Hound Point Terminal at sunrise (see left). 

If you are lucky enough to catch the morning din with the weather holding up, it is quite a sight. However, the main purpose of being anchored in the middle of the Firth of Forth so early was not to see Panamax tankers fill-up, but rather to take a peek at the Ineos Insight; a ship carrying ethane sourced from the Marcellus shale stateside to British waters. Lo and behold she surfaced soon enough too (see below right).

This first consignment of US shale gas to the UK has given yours truly plenty of talking points for better parts of a fortnight. So here’s a take on its geopolitical significance for IBTimes UK, and a chat with Ineos director Tom Pickering. And well here is a spot report of the day’s event too, bagpipes, boat rides, canapes and all. 

However, if the back story is your thing, here it is as described for Forbes, and a more holistic account on this blog

With plenty of column inches dedicated to the event by yours truly to it, there’s little more to be done other than to pass on the links above to you and enjoy a view of oil and gas industry history in the making. That’s all from Scotland folks! It’s on to Edinburgh and then back to London. Keep reading, keep it crude!


Update 29/10/16: Furthermore, since this historic shale consignment arrived in Scotland, which has a moratorium on shale exploration, here is the Oilholic's IBTimes UK column touching on the hypocrisy of the Scottish Government’s stance on shale.

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© Gaurav Sharma 2016. Photo 1: Sunrise at Hound Point Terminal, Firth of Forth, Scotland, UK. Photo 2: Ineos Insight arrives in British Waters © Gaurav Sharma, September 2016 

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