International petrochemical firm, Ineos, is pushing ahead with its plans for developing a UK shale gas business. Ineos has announced the roll out of a major seismic survey plan to pinpoint key sites across the North of England where it holds licenses.
The company is expanding its staff within its shale gas business and is looking to make six appointments. These include a geophysicist, an operations geologist and a commercial director. They are also arranging meetings with local councils across Cheshire, the East Midlands and Yorkshire in a bid to address potential concerns in areas close to exploration sites.
The company was successful in applying for 23 licenses during the Government’s last licensing round and aims to invest £650m in 30 production wells over coming years.
Gary Haywood, chief executive of Ineos Shale is quoted in the media as saying: “We are firing the starting gun on our programme.
“Up until now, the 3D seismic data that has been shot in England covers around 400-odd kilometres. Over the next 12 months we hope to top that by shooting more seismic data than has ever been shot in the UK.
“We are ramping up the level of activity quite significantly to see if the geology is suitable for the industry in the UK. The economic benefits will be substantial, if the rocks are suitable and it’s successful.”
Mr Haywood said Ineos will carry out its seismic survey over the summer, before lodging planning applications for core drilling at the end of the year. It expects to press ahead with core drilling in 2017, before submitting a separate planning application to carry out test fracks at the beginning of 2018.