The first export shipment of Marcellus Shale ethane set sail Wednesday afternoon from Sunoco Logistics Partners' Marcus Hook terminal to a petrochemical plant in Norway.
The JS Ineos Intrepid, one of eight 575-foot tankers commissioned by European chemical manufacturer Ineos, was loaded this week with 173,000 barrels of ethane that had been delivered to Marcus Hook from Western Pennsylvania through the Mariner East pipeline, Sunoco spokesman Jeff Shields said.
Ethane, a liquid used in plastics manufacturing, is derived from natural-gas production.
State business and political leaders have promoted the export of ethane as critical to boosting shale-gas development. Ineos and a second European petrochemical company have signed long-term agreements to export Marcellus Shale natural-gas liquids.