Ineos, the chemicals giant, has confirmed plans to invest £640 million in the exploration of UK shale gas. The business operates a sizeable petrochemicals and refinery plant in Grangemouth, and it recently took ownership of a new exploration licence to explore nearly 730 square miles of central Scotland.
The development means that Ineos is now one of the UK’s biggest players in the shale gas market, and their commitment to investment will be welcomed by the government, which is keen to see exploration proceed quickly. The government views fracking as a vital economic opportunity to create a new source of home-grown energy in the face of a declining North Sea reserve. The USA has already transformed its energy market with a combination of shale gas and oil.
Ineos Upstream’s CEO, Gary Haywood, said that the company hoped to become Britain’s biggest shale gas player, and that it possessed the necessary resources to achieve its aims. Matthew Hancock, the Energy Minister, said he was ‘delighted’ at the investment news, which represented a significant stride forward for domestic energy and employment creation.
The company is already forging ahead with a new gas import facility from the USA to feed into its chemicals plant at Grangemouth. It hopes that a secure domestic energy supply will further assure the plant’s future.Last updated on 12:20PM - 28/11/14