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India’s Reliance Secures Shipping Partner For U.S. Ethane Transport

India's Reliance Industries Ltd. has reached an agreement with Japan's Mitsui OSK Lines to transport U.S. ethane overseas, following up on a previously announced plan to secure more feedstock for its expanding crackers in India (see Daily GPI, Aug. 21).

In August, Reliance said it would take advantage of the U.S. shale boom by expanding its crackers and sourcing up to 1.5 million metric tons of ethane per year through its joint ventures with operators in the Marcellus Shale of Pennsylvania and the Eagle Ford Shale of South Texas, where it has partnerships with Chevron Corp., Carrizo Oil & Gas Inc. and Pioneer Natural Resources Co.

Under an agreement announced last week with Mitsui OSK, the shipping company will oversee the construction of six enormous ethane-carrying ships that will be built by Samsung Heavy Industries Co. Ltd. The deal’s terms were not disclosed.

Once the vessels are completed, which is expected to occur in 2016, Mitsui will ship ethane produced in the U.S. from an unnamed terminal in North America to a receiving and storage facility Reliance is constructing in India.

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