Ineos to Become Largest UK Fracking Firm

Ineos to Become Largest UK Fracking Firm
Ineos to Become Largest UK Fracking Firm

Swiss-based petrochemical firm Ineos launched plans Thursday to become the biggest player in Britain’s fracking sector with a $1 billion investment in the nation’s shale gas industry.

“Ineos is planning to invest $1 billion in UK shale gas exploration and appraisal,” it said in a statement which also sparked anger from environmentalists over the controversial energy extraction method, AFP reported.

Ineos added that “substantial further investment would follow if the company moved into development and production.”

The company already has fracking licenses near its plant at Grangemouth in Scotland, but is applying for more in Scotland and northern England.

“If Ineos wins all the shale gas licenses it has applied for, it will be the biggest player in the UK shale gas industry,” the statement added.

Campaigners argue that the controversial process -- known as fracking, or hydraulic fracturing technology -- causes water pollution and earth tremors, while energy groups say it drives down gas prices, creates jobs and boosts economic growth.

Ineos already has two fracking licenses for over 120,000 acres, and has also invested $626 million in a project to bring US shale gas into Grangemouth, which is Scotland’s only oil refinery.