Chemical giant INEOS has announced its intentions to become the biggest player within the UK’s growing shale gas industry with an investment of $1 billion (£640 million).
Shale gas has become a highly debated energy source. Whilst supporters argue that shale gas can be used as an effective transition fuel as the world moves to clean energy, others argue that the focus should be placed on renewables.
The extraction method of shale gas, known as fracking, is also controversial and has been linked to an increased risk of earthquakes, water contamination, leakage of methane and environmental degradation.
INEOS has applied for a number of shale gas licences, the company states that the vast majority of locations have either a mining or indusial heritage. If the government approves all of the licences INEOS will become the biggest player in the industry.
The firm already has two shale licences located in Scotland, compromising over 120,000 acres.
Jim Ratcliffe, INEOS chairman, commented, “I want INEOS to be the biggest player in the UK shale gas industry.
“I believe shale gas could revolutionise UK manufacturing and I know INEOS has the resources to make it happen, the skills to extract the gas safely and the vision to realise that everyone must share in the rewards.”
Polls have suggested that the public’s perception of fracking in the UK has been improving slightly. However, approval rates for shale gas exploration remain low when compared to renewable energy.
Photo: Daniel Foster via flickr