A FRACKING gas pipeline key to the “shale gas revolution” promised by Grangemouth petrochemical giant Ineos has been shut down by US safety regulators to prevent “catastrophic results impacting the public”. State authorities in Pennsylvania ordered the closure of the 300-mile Mariner East pipeline after three large sinkholes were discovered near drilling for another adjacent pipeline. Continuing to pipe huge amounts of inflammable and explosive gases presented “a clear and present danger to life or property”, a state investigation concluded. Mariner East was heralded by Ineos in 2016 as the start of the “virtual pipeline” that would see eight ‘dragon’ boats bring millions of tonnes of ethane gas thousands of miles from western Pennsylvania’s fracking fields to Grangemouth and Rafnes in Norway. The imports were “the culmination of a $2 billion investment by Ineos”, the company said, and were labelled “a game changer for British manufacturing” by Ineos chairman Jim Ratcliffe. But according to reports in the US, exports to Europe from the Mariner East terminal at Marcus Hook near Philadelphia have now ceased – and it is unclear when they might start again.
Herald 15th April 2018 read more »
Oil prices have hit three-and-a-half-year highs following the growing threat of British and US military strikes against the Kremlin-backed regime of Bashar al-Assad in Syria. The war-torn heart of the Levant alone is enough cause for concern but the risk of a broader confrontation with Russia, or likely escalation of regional proxy conflicts in Yemen, are reminders the world has ignored energy security risks for far too long. Even before fears of a military confrontation between major powers over Syria briefly pushed crude above $72 per barrel, warning signs were flashing red in a region where about a fifth of the world’s oil is pumped.
Telegraph 13th April 2018 read more »