Petrochemical giant Ineos has bought the rights to explore 400 more square kilometres around its Grangemouth base for shale gas.
The firm announced it bought an 80 per cent stake in the licence from Reach Coal Seam Gas Ltd. This follows the company’s purchase of 329 square kilometres around the plant in August.
Ineos pledged to share up to £2.5 billion of prospective shale gas revenues with local residents and landowners.
Gary Haywood, chief executive of Ineos Upstream, the firm’s new oil and gas exploration and production business, said the new deals was a “very good fit” with the neighbouring licence already held.
He said: “We are keen to move quickly to evaluate the potential of this resource, and determine if we can economically produce gas from this area. If we can, it will provide a local source of competitive energy and raw materials to support manufacturing jobs in Scotland.
“Our recent commitment to share the benefits of the gas production with the landowners and the community will also bring significant local benefits.”