Chemicals group Ineos is investing £640m into the production and exploration of shale gas in the UK.
Ineos is currently building a shale gas import facility and it has also bought the licence for shale gas exploration and development in an area around its Grangemouth power plant
The company currently imports shale gas from the USA for use as a fuel and feedstock but will curtail this requirement with the new investment.
In August 2014 Ineos announced its first foray into shale gas exploration with the purchase of a 51 per cent share of the shale section of a joint Petroleum Exploration and Development Licence (PEDL) in Britain.
At the time of the announcement, the company said the PEDL 133 licence covers 329 square kilometres of the Midland Valley of Scotland, which includes Ineos’ Grangemouth refining and petrochemical complex, plus the area around it.
Ineos said it would reward those living in an Ineos Shale Gas community by giving away six per cent of its shale gas revenues to homeowners, landowners and communities close to its wells.
Ineos estimates that it will give away over £2.5bn from its new Shale gas business and that those living in an Ineos Shale gas community (100km square) would typically share £375m over the life of the project.
Furthermore, home owners and land owners directly above the wells would share four per cent of the revenue (typically £250m) and that shale gas communities living close to the wells would share two per cent of the revenue, typically £125m.