Ethane exports picks up following shale gas boom
Houston-based Enterprise Products Partners on Wednesday began exporting from the world’s largest ethane export terminal along the Houston Ship Channel.This is another benefit from the shale boom that will help the US trade balance. It should also be noted that Big Green's alternative energy agenda has no alternative to products like ethane which are needed to create plastics.
The first shipment of 265,000 barrels of ethane left the Morgan’s Point terminal from La Porte en route to Norway aboard the Marine Vessel JS Ineos Intrepid. Ineos is a Swiss petrochemical company with a large Houston-area presence.
Enterprise just finished building the ethane export terminal, which has two trains and two docks capable of loading about 200,000 barrels per day onto ships. Ethane is derived from natural gas and is used primarily to make the chemical ethylene, which is the primary building block of most plastics. Large supplies of natural gas from the U.S. shale boom have made ethane production here so abundant that Enterprise is exporting much of it to Europe, Asia and the developing world.