Ineos snaps up Engie's shale gas assets to create the largest portfolio in Britain's fracking industry

Courtney Goldsmith
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Britain has substantial shale deposits underground (Source: Getty)

Ineos has just become the UK's biggest shale gas firm, after it completed a deal to acquire all of French rival Engie's shale gas interests for an undisclosed amount.

That means Ineos' total portfolio under licence is now more than 1.2m acres, the largest of any company involved in the UK's shale industry.

Ineos, a petrochemicals firm led by Jim Ratcliffe, has made substantial investments into expanding its British shale gas portfolio. Engie's onshore assets are comprised of interests in 15 licences, including seven in which Ineos already held an interest.

Progress on introducing fracking in the UK has been slow due to regulatory hurdles and public protests, while environmental groups have claimed the process can contaminate groundwater.

The government is looking to take advantage of the UK's substantial amounts of shale gas, however, to help offset declining production in the North Sea, which could create 64,000 jobs in the industry.

In December anti-fracking campaigners lost their High Court battle against developer Third Energy as the court ruled fracking could go ahead in Yorkshire.

Ineos, Britain's biggest privately owned firm, revealed last month it made record profits in 2016 bolstered by low oil prices.

Read more: North Sea oil and gas tax relief will be reviewed

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