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Ineos sets out UK shale gas plans

Chemicals giant Ineos has confirmed reports that it is planning to be the biggest player in the UK shale gas industry.

The Switzerland-headquartered firm’s intended $1bn (£640m) investment would lead to shale gas exploration and production in the UK, the output of which would be used as a raw material in its chemical plants, including Grangemouth in Stirlingshire.

Ineos has applied for a raft of Petroleum Exploration and Development licences from the Department of Energy & Climate Change, with the vast majority of the bids in Scotland and the North of England, where the local populations have either a mining or an industrial heritage.

The firm has also guaranteed to give local communities 6% of any revenues generated. This offer is typically worth £375m to a community, Ineos claims.

In a You Gov survey commissioned in October, Ineos asked 6,216 people their views on the controversial method of hydraulic fracturing or ‘fracking’ to extract the shale gas.

In the UK, 50% of people said they would support the process if Ineos gave 6% of all revenues to local communities, homeowners and landowners. Without the cash incentive, the UK figure was only 40% approval.

Ineos chairman Jim Ratcliffe said: “I want Ineos to be the biggest player in the UK shale gas industry. I believe shale gas could revolutionise UK manufacturing and I know Ineos has the resources to make it happen, the skills to extract the gas safely and the vision to realise that everyone must share in the rewards.

Ineos Upstream chief executive Gary Haywood said the firm would be a “safe pair of hands”.

He said: “While the awarding of the licences is a matter for DECC, we believe our knowledge and experience in running complex petrochemical facilities, coupled with the world class sub surface expertise we have recently added to our team, means that Ineos will be seen as a very safe pair of hands.”

Published on:
November 21, 2014
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