Ineos, the chemicals giant owned by billionaire Jim Ratcliffe, as been shopping again, buying a majority share in two exploration licenses in a North Sea gas field with estimated reserves of as much as 5 trillion cubic feet.
The acquisition of the licenses for the Northern Gas Fields West of Shetland, which it bought from Siccar Point Energy E&P, means Ineos now has exploration licenses in four deep water oil and gas fields in the so-called Lyon cluster, 150km north of the Shetland Islands.
Ineos reckons the cluster has between 3 trillion and 5 trillion cubic feet of gas in place.
"Ineos intends to become a significant player in this area," said Geir Tuft, chief executive of Ineos Oil & Gas.
"This deal confirms our aim to take a leading role to develop the Northern Gas Fields using the significant infrastructure investments already made west of Shetland.”
“With the purchase of the Dong E&P business earlier in the year, Ineos took over a significant portfolio of producing assets and discoveries west of Shetland. It is clear that the Northern Gas Area holds further opportunities that could help unlock the development of those discoveries. The deal with Siccar compliments our assets.”
In the past few weeks Ratcliffe has been on something of a shopping spree, expanding into the fashion world with its takeover of iconic British heritage brand Belstaff, and sport, after it bought Swiss football club Lausanne-Sport.
He has also announced plans to make a car modelled on the defunct Land Rover Defender, although in September Ineos entered a trademark dispute with Jaguar Land Rover.