A major union has given Ineos its blessing to move ahead with its ambitious plans for shale gas.
The GMB this week announced a joint charter on shale gas with United Kingdom Onshore Oil and Gas, the representative body for the UK onshore oil and gas industry.
GMB national secretary Gary Smith said: “Having access to gas is a matter of national security. The truth is we are going to be using gas, including shale gas, for a long time to come.
“We have a long record in ensuring we have the highest standards of health and safety and skills in the UK gas industry.
“If the shale gas industry does take off we will bring all that experience to bear, to ensure the industry operates at the very highest standards in terms of the environment and health and safety.
“Integral to this is having a highly skilled workforce and we will work with the industry to make sure we have levels of skills that are absolutely second to none.”
Ineos, currently constructing a massive ethane tank to store US shale gas at its Grangemouth site, welcomed the GMB’s announcement.
Gary Haywood, CEO of Ineos Shale, said: “The GMB has always been forward looking in this area and understands the importance of a UK shale gas industry for UK jobs and UK manufacturing.
“We would call on other unions to follow the GMB’s lead and acknowledge the tremendous benefits that a safe and well regulated indigenous shale gas industry can offer.”
The GMB’s decision to back shale gas comes in the same week Ineos, which has a global annual turnover of $54 billion and employs over 17,000 people, was named Britain’s biggest private firm in a Sunday Times report.