Firm becomes 3rd biggest operator in UK

Ineos steps up controversial shale gas plans after buying licences

GrangemouthGrangemouth owner Ineos will become Britain’s third biggest shale gas operator after acquiring the licence around the Fife town and a number of others owned by a company operating in England.

The deal will confirm widely held views about the company’s controversial plans for shale and will also reinforce the pressure it is applying on the Scottish planning authorities and government to allow exploration and production to take place.

The chemicals company has secured a 50% share of seven licences owned by IGas in the northwest with an option over 20% of two of the company’s licences in the East Midlands.

This deal makes Ineos the third biggest owner of UK onshore oil and gas licences, giving it access to almost a quarter of a million acres of potential shale gas reserves.

Ineos will pay IGas £30 million in cash and has agreed to fund a two phase work programme of up to £138 million to appraise and develop the sites.

Gary Haywood, chief executive of Ineos Upstream said: “This is a further significant step for Ineos in its plan to become the biggest player in the UK shale gas industry.

“We believe shale gas could revolutionise UK manufacturing and Ineos has the resources to make it happen, the skills to extract the gas safely and the vision to realise that communities must share in the rewards for it to be successful.

“This is a great opportunity to acquire some first class assets that have the potential to yield significant quantities of gas in the future. Ineos believes that an indigenous shale gas industry will transform UK manufacturing, and that we can extract the gas safely and responsibly.

“We are pleased to have agreed this deal with IGas.  Ineos’s scale, asset position across the UK, US shale gas expertise, and our expertise in managing oil and gas facilities will be a great match with IGas’s existing onshore asset base, and significant exploration and production capability.”

Ineos argues that its knowledge and experience in running complex petrochemical facilities make it a responsible operator.  It has committed to full consultation with all local communities before proceeding with any shale gas development. 

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