Ineos Takes Position in UK Shale

Ineos Takes Position in UK ShaleIneos Takes Position in UK Shale

Swiss-based chemicals group Ineos has acquired a stake in a shale oil and gas licence in Scotland and plans to pay a share of revenues from any production to landowners and communities, Britain's energy ministry said in a statement.

Britain is in the early stages of extracting shale gas resources to lower its dependence on energy imports, but exploration to see whether the resources are commercially viable has been slow amid strong local opposition, Reuters reported.

"Ineos will give 6 percent of production revenue to landowners and communities, split 4 percent and 2 percent respectively," Britain's Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) said in a statement on Sunday. "It's not unusual for energy companies to make payments to communities; people local to wind farms receive payments too."

The government has already tried to placate local opposition to shale gas and the controversial process of fracking - pumping high pressure chemicals into the ground - used to extract it, by offering benefits to those living nearby. Last year it said the shale industry would have to provide communities located near exploratory wells with 100,000 pounds worth of benefits and 1 percent of the revenue from each production site. DECC said it was awarding a 51 percent share in the licence in the Firth of Forth to Ineos. The balance is held by smaller explorer Dart. Ineos' stake had previously been held by British oil and gas giant BG Group. Should Britain start producing large volumes of shale gas, it would benefit Ineos ' petrochemical plant and refinery in Grangemouth, Scotland, by providing it with a cheap input resource. The plant is beginning to process shale gas imported from the United States.