Press Releases

INEOS challenges government with shale gas test offer

  • INEOS, one of the world’s largest chemicals and energy companies, 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, says, “The UK is in the midst of an energy crisis with ever increasing prices driving people into fuel poverty whilst giving huge sums of money to oppressive regimes. 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” 

The UK is in the middle of an energy crisis with gas prices almost ten times the level of the USA. These higher gas prices are driving higher electricity prices and pushing more and more of the British population into fuel poverty.

At the same time, the UK government is having a major rethink about energy policy with growing concerns about the security and cost of oil and gas from Russia and the Middle East.

INEOS is proud to be 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 thirty years as it goes through the energy transition.

Sir Jim says, “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 ten years and we need to re-examine this too”.

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

In the UK, the science behind shale was totally ignored and politicians bowed to an extreme vocal minority, finally imposing a moratorium on fracking. Had that moratorium not happened, we could be using shale gas today

INEOS understands that some people still worry about fracking which is why it has written to the UK government offering to develop a fully functioning shale test site to show that the technology can be developed safely by a competent operator.

Sir Jim adds, “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”.


For more information, interviews and stills please contact:

Alex Williams (Media Zoo)                        07793207325

Andrew McLachlan (Media Zoo)                         07931 377162

About INEOS:  INEOS is a global manufacturing company making the raw materials and energy used for everyday life. Its products make an indispensable contribution to society by providing the most sustainable options for a wide range of societal needs. For example, preservation of food and clean water; construction of wind turbines, solar panels and other renewable technologies; for construction of lighter and more fuel-efficient vehicles and aircraft; for medical devices and applications; for clothing and apparel; and for insulation and other industrial and home applications.

INEOS businesses have put in place the plans and actions needed to ensure that they lead the transition to a net zero economy by no later than 2050, whilst remaining profitable, and staying ahead of evolving regulations and legislation. As part of its greenhouse gas emission reduction strategy, there is widespread goal to move to a more circular economy, in which materials are re-used to their maximum extent.

Share this Article: