Commenting on the news that INEOS has bought out BG Group's 51% share of the Lothian (Broxburn) Shale in Dart Energy's Forth Valley licence (PEDL 133) for an undisclosed sum, Friends of the Earth Scotland Head of Campaigns Mary Church said:

“Spin-masters INEOS have found a crafty way to fuel the shale gas hype by buying into the Broxburn part of Dart Energy's Forth Valley license. This is a low risk way for the company to keep alive the pretence that there is an economically viable shale gas industry waiting to blossom in Scotland.

“INEOS bosses are cynically trying to justify the many millions in loan guarantees that they managed to wangle out of the UK Government to keep the high carbon Grangemouth plant limping on for a few more years.”

“INEOS's move also shows how empty Dart Energy's promises to keep their license areas frack free are, and will only add to the strong local opposition to plans for commercial coal bed methane extraction in the area.”

ENDS

Notes to Editors

1. In June the British Geological Survey published its findings on the shale gas and oil potential of Scotland's central belt. The resource is modest and there is significant uncertainty as to how much might be possible to extract, and whether it is economically viable to do so http://foe-scotland.org.uk/shale-gas-estimates-central-valley

2. Last month INEOS bosses secured a £230 million loan guarantee from the UK Government http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-tayside-central-28331545

3. STV coverage, 'Petrochemical company buys major share in shale gas exploration licence' http://news.stv.tv/stirling-central/288782-ineos-buys-major-share-in-sha…

4. Friends of the Earth Scotland is
* Scotland's leading environmental campaigning organisation
* An independent Scottish charity with a network of thousands of supporters and active local groups across Scotland
* Part of the largest grassroots environmental network in the world, uniting over 2 million supporters, 77 national member groups, and some 5,000 local activist groups.