Get Drilling! Fracking ‘Could Save UK Industry’, Says Ineos Boss

  • Date: 28/09/16
  • Jack Doyle, Daily Mail

Britain should be extracting its own shale gas to boost the economy, the boss of a major refinery said last night – as the first imported shipment of the fuel arrived from the US.

In a development that renewed calls for Britain to begin fracking, 27,500 cubic metres of gas arrived in Scotland on its way to the Grangemouth refinery.

But the boss of the firm that owns the plant said Britain should be extracting its own gas to replace dwindling North Sea reserves – potentially providing thousands of jobs.

On Monday Labour said it would ban fracking – extracting shale gas from rock – if elected. The SNP has a ‘moratorium’ on fracking, while in England proposals in several areas have been held up by councils.

The move sparked a row with unions representing workers in the industry. The GMB union said the ban was madness.

And Jim Ratcliffe, of petrochemicals giant Ineos, which owns the Grangemouth refinery, said fracking could transform communities blighted by a collapse in manufacturing, as it had in the US.

He said: ‘A lot of the heartland voters for the Labour Party are in those very industrial areas that are rather like Pittsburgh ten years ago, they’re not in great shape, shale has got this ability to transform these industrial communities.

If you look at the UK, manufacturing has collapsed in the last 20 years, and there is an awful lot of people in the industrial heartland who depend on manufacturing jobs.

‘There is going to be no manufacturing left if it continues in that direction and shale has got the possibility of transforming it, maybe even reversing it, as it has in America.

‘There’s absolutely no reason why it can’t do the same things to the UK manufacturing industry.’

The ethane gas has been imported from the US because the company cannot secure enough from depleted stocks of North Sea reserves.

Up to one tanker a week is expected to arrive in Scotland for the Grangemouth plant, securing 10,000 jobs linked to the site.

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