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IGas and INEOS agree UK shale gas deal

10 March 2015

On March 10 the UK’s largest shale gas developer IGas signed a £30 million ($45 million) shale gas agreement with the INEOS group, which runs a number of chemical and refining plants in the UK, including the Grangemouth refinery in Scotland.

The deal would give INEOS  access to shale sites outside of Scotland, where it has extensive exploration licenses but where restrictions on shale exploitation were recently announced. As well as the £30m payment, INEOS will provide £138million to help develop IGas fields in England.

The UK government is counting on companies tapping the country's shale resources to stem its growing dependence on oil and gas imports as North Sea production declines.

IGas has already signed so-called farm-out deals with French energy firms Total and GDF Suez, bringing total investments from outside partners to $285m.

"INEOS's commitment of upfront cash and considerable capital investment will help fund us through the next steps of our shale appraisal and production programme," said IGas chief executive Andrew Austin in a statement.

INEOS, which is headquartered in Switzerland, said in November 2014 it planned to invest $1 billion in British shale gas exploration and development to provide energy and feedstock for its UK- and Europe-based plants.

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