Ratcliffe ... revisiting shale gas in the UK

INEOS has written to the UK government offering to safely develop a fully functioning Shale test site to demonstrate that the technology can be safe and secure in the UK.

The offer comes following the UK’s increasing concerns about the mounting costs of energy and its energy security

Sir Jim Ratcliffe, Ineos founder and chairman, said: "The UK is in the midst of an energy crisis with ever increasing prices driving people into fuel poverty. It’s a ridiculous situation with so much gas under our feet and we are today offering to drill a shale test site to show that a competent operator can be trusted to develop the technology safely"

INEOS is part of the growing renewables revolution with many of its products providing key building blocks for the production of solar and wind energy as well as leading in the development of hydrogen as a fuel of the future.

But renewable technology is not yet reliable enough to take over and the UK will need gas for the next 30 years as it goes through the energy transition.

Sir Jim said: "The UK is right to be re-examining its energy policy and to look again at the North Sea as part of the answer to our energy needs. But, as the US has shown, shale gas from home could make us self-sufficient in 10 years and we need to re-examine this too".

Fracking has been safely used in the oil and gas industry for over 50 years. In the US, over one million wells have been safely used and have transformed the energy security of the country

Sir Jim added: "We will happily invite government inspectors to monitor what we do and if, at any stage, the science shows there are problems we will stop and make good the site. But if, as we believe, the opposite is true, we would ask that the government looks again at shale gas which would allow the UK to benefit from its own resources, massively reduce the cost of energy and ensure our long-term energy independence."