Ineos, the world's fourth largest chemicals company, has announced it is making its first move into the shale exploration arena, with the purchase of a 51% share of the shale section of a joint Petroleum Exploration and Development Licence (PEDL) in the UK.
The PEDL 133 licence covers 329 square kilometres of the Midland Valley of Scotland which includes Ineos' Grangemouth refining and petrochemical complex and the area around it.
Gary Haywood, CEO of Ineos Upstream, says: "We are very pleased to have agreed the purchase of 51% of the shale section of the PEDL 133 licence. Over the last year Ineos Upstream has been drawing together a team of experts in the Sector, including a number of leading shale exploration and development specialists from the US. This expertise gives us the perfect platform to move into onshore exploration."
Ineos Upstream, the company's new oil and gas exploration and production business, has bought the 51% share from BG Group. The other 49% share of the shale section licence is owned by exploration company, Dart Energy.
Ineos is currently engaged in a $600 million project to bring Shale Gas Ethane from the USA to its petrochemical plants in Scotland and Norway.
Gary Haywood adds, "This is a logical next step for Ineos and we are very excited about it. We are one of very few businesses that can use Shale Gas as both a fuel and a petrochemical feedstock. With our large UK asset base, our existing capabilities in operating oil and gas facilities and our exemplary safety and environmental record, Ineos is well placed to become a major player in the UK onshore gas production sector."