Chemicals company Ineos, owned by billionaire Jim Ratcliffe, has announced plans to invest £1bn in the UK’s oil and gas assets.
The petrochemicals giant will inject £500m into the Forties pipeline, which carries almost half of Britain’s oil and gas from the North Sea, to extend the pipe’s life into the 2040s.
Ineos bought the pipeline, which is 44 years old, from BP last year but had to close the system for almost two months to repair a crack in the onshore section.
The announcement comes after Ratcliffe, who is Britain’s wealthiest man and a prominent Brexit supporter, came under fire earlier this month after it was reported that he was planning to save up to £4bn in tax after moving to Monaco.
The company said the latest investment is a show of confidence in the UK at “an uncertain moment for the country”.
In a statement the company said: “INEOS will invest £1bn in the UK in multiple projects designed to ensure its British assets stay world class for a generation.
“INEOS is a supporter of British manufacturing and this £1bn investment underlines our confidence in our business in the UK.”
Scotland’s Grangemouth oil refinery will also receive an investment of £350m, and the firm will also invest an additional £150m in a new petrochemicals facility in Hull.