Ineos buys second Scots shale gas licence
Petrochemical firm Ineos has bought a second licence for shale gas exploration and development in central Scotland.
The company bought the rights to a 329 sq km area around its Grangemouth plant in August.
It has now secured a further 400 sq km adjacent to the first area.
The firm has pledged to share up to £2.5bn of prospective shale gas revenues with local residents and landowners.
Ineos announced it had bought an 80% stake in the licence, titled PEDL 162, from Reach Coal Seam Gas Ltd.
The British Geological Survey has identified "significant" shale gas and oil resources in the area, and Ineos plans to drill test wells to determine whether the resources can be extracted at a reasonable cost.
Gary Haywoo, chief executive of Ineos Upstream, the firm's new oil and gas exploration and production business, said he was "delighted" with the deal, which was a "very good fit" with the neighbouring licence already held.
He added: "We are keen to move quickly to evaluate the potential of this resource, and determine if we can economically produce gas from this area.
"If we can, it will provide a local source of competitive energy and raw materials to support manufacturing jobs in Scotland.
"Our recent commitment to share the benefits of the gas production with the landowners and the community will also bring significant local benefits."
Ineos has also brought in American shale specialists from Mitchell Energy to work alongside them in exploring Scottish resources.