INEOS – the petro-chemicals company that owns and operates the Grangemouth refinery in the Central Belt – has won 21 new onshore shale gas exploration licences from the UK Government.
The announcement by the Department of Energy (DECC) means INEOS is now the biggest player in shale in terms of UK onshore oil and gas licences, giving it access to 1 million acres of potential shale gas reserves.
INEOS already holds a number of such licences to explore for shale gas in and around its Grangemouth site.
The majority of its new licences from the Aberdeen-based UK Oil and Gas Authority are located in the former coal-mining heartlands of North Yorkshire, North West England and the East Midlands – which have a heritage of energy and feedstock industries.
INEOS has committed to full consultation with all local communities and will share 6% of fracking well revenues with homeowners, landowners & communities close to its shale gas wells – with 4% of this being allocated to homeowners and landowners directly above wells and 2% to the wider communities.
Jim Ratcliffe, Chairman, INEOS, said last night: “We are delighted with this OGA announcement.
“The UK government has demonstrated it is determined to move forward with this exciting new industry.
“This is the start of a shale gas revolution that will transform manufacturing in the UK.
“We have the skills to safely extract the gas and we have already committed to both fully consult and to share the rewards with the local communities.”
INEOS – now one of the UK’s biggest shale gas players – was awarded 700’000 acres on top of its existing 300,000 acres.