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Ineos offers $1 billion to drill hundreds of shale gas wells

Staff writer |
Swiss company Ineos has announced it plans to invest $1bn in shale gas exploration in Britain, citing the UK government's enthusiasm to use the new technology.

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The investment, which will come if Ineos wins a shale gas license, would be used to conduct explorations across the UK, according to the company's chairman, Jim Ratcliffe.

"I want Ineos to be the biggest player in the UK shale gas industry. I believe shale gas could revolutionize UK manufacturing and I know Ineos has the resources to make it happen," he told a press conference in London.

The British government have been keen to explore different areas of energy production, and have touted shale gas to be one of the dominant energy sources in the future.

The Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) is currently assessing applications from energy companies who wish to explore the capabilities of shale gas, with licenses expected to be awarded early next year.

The CEO of Ineos Upstream, Gary Haywood, told Reuters that "hundreds of wells" would be drilled if Ineos won its contract, and that less than $10 million had been invested in UK shale so far.

The majority of the wells would be drilled in Scotland and northern England, although Ineos said its activities would create jobs and add 2.5 billion pounds to local economies if it gets the go ahead.

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