IGas in talks with local firms and landowners in Barton over shale

Suzie Neuwirth
SHALE gas explorer IGas, which last week confirmed its plans to start drilling at Barton, Greater Manchester, is in talks with landowners and industrial companies in the area about drilling access and gas supply deals.

Chief executive Andrew Austin told The Sunday Telegraph that the Aim-listed energy company hopes to agree new partnerships over the next few months.

An IGas spokesperson told City A.M. yesterday that initial talks had been held but said that nothing would be announced at this stage as “it is still very early days”.

IGas – which is understood to have had expressions of interest from companies including Irish glass manufacturers – would not disclose the names of the potential partners.

Exploratory drilling at the Barton site is hoped to start next month but could be later in the fourth quarter, depending on approval from the Environment Agency.

The controversial hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, technique – which environmentalists claim can cause earth tremors – will not be used during the process, IGas said.