Homeowners and landowners in Scotland, Yorkshire and Lancashire could be in for a £2.5bn windfall, according to the chemical billionaire Jim Ratcliffe, who plans to appease Britons with a share in the spoils of his planned fracking projects.
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Mr Ratcliffe, founder of chemicals group Ineos and one of Britain’s richest men, hopes to kick-start the exploration for shale gas in the UK by offering home and land owners directly above the shale gas wells 4 per cent of revenues and communities living close to the wells 2 per cent.
The proposal is based on the industry in the United States where individuals get a small slice of the revenue, rather than just limited compensation.
The commitment by Ineos goes beyond what government has ordered. Last year it said the controversial shale industry would have to provide communities with 1 per cent of the revenue from each production site.
Mr Ratcliffe said: “We think this is a game changer for Britain. Giving 6 per cent of the revenues will give them a real stake in the success of the venture and encourage the development of the whole shale gas industry.”
Ineos is in talks for a number of shale gas licences across the UK and earlier this year it bought a stake in a licence to explore around Ineos’s refinery at Scotland’s Grangemouth.