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  1. Joel Hills

Ineos' £640 million bet on UK shale gas success

Ineos chairman Jim Ratcliffe - a billionaire with big ambitions - is taking a £640 million bet that shale gas will be every bit as big in Britain as it has been in the US.

Jim Ratcliffe, the founder of Ineos. Credit: PA Wire

He told us Ineos were bidding for a large number of licences in Scotland and the North of England but he didn't say specifically where or how many.

It's possible that he will end up with no licences to frack - but he doesn't think that's likely.

But he is frustrated by the planning process in the UK which he thinks has been far too slow, although environmentalists argue otherwise.

Jim Radcliffe has given people this promise: "It is safe, I can prove it."

Labour: Regulation needed before fracking goes ahead

Reacting to news that Ineos plans to invest £640 million in shale gas exploration in the UK, shadow energy minister Tom Greatrex said:

Shale gas extraction cannot go ahead unless we have a system of robust environmental regulation and comprehensive inspection.

But David Cameron’s government have repeatedly side-lined genuine and legitimate environmental concerns to justify their desire to present shale gas as a silver bullet for all of our energy challenges.

As INEOS’ investment brings the UK closer to commercial scale extraction of shale gas, the Government can no longer afford to ignore these much-needed reforms to the regulatory framework.

– Tom Greatrex

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Environmental groups attack shale gas investment

Greenpeace has attacked plans by chemicals company Ineos to invest £640 million in shale gas exploration in the UK, claiming it is a "giant speculative bet on unproven and risky resources".

Investment is essential to transform our energy system, but not giant speculative bets on unproven and risky resources.

Ineos have jumped on a spin-powered bandwagon which is going nowhere.

Independent academics recently called out Government ministers over the ludicrous levels of hype around shale gas, saying 'shale gas has been completely oversold'.

It seems that Ineos have based their business plan on breathless PR brochures rather than scientific reports.'

– Simon Clydesdale, Greenpeace UK

Ineos wants to become 'UK's biggest shale gas player'

Chemicals giant Ineos intends to become the biggest player in the British shale gas industry through its £640 million investment, its chairman said.

Ineos executives announcing the plans. Credit: ITV News/Joel Hills

Ineos already has two licences near its plant at Grangemouth in Scotland but is applying for more in Scotland and the north of England.

The company said it plans to give local communities 6% of the revenues from any shale gas it produces - potentially worth £375 million.

"I believe shale gas could revolutionise UK manufacturing and I know Ineos has the resources to make it happen, the skills to extract the gas safely and the vision to realise that everyone must share in the rewards," chairman Jim Ratcliffe said.

Ineos to unveil multi-million pound fracking plans

Chemical company Ineos is expected to invest hundreds of millions of pounds in fracking in the UK.

The firm is due to outline its plans to produce shale gas for its plant in Grangemouth, Scotland later today.

An Ineos flag above Grangemouth oil refinery in Falkirk. Credit: PA Wire

The company's investment in shale gas could be as much as £640 million, STV News reported.

Fracking, in which water and chemicals are injected into rock at high pressure, is controversial and has sparked numerous protests due to the environmental fears.

Large protests were held in Balcombe in West Sussex last year where energy firm Cuadrilla were test drilling at a potential fracking site.

FA apologise for anti-IRA chanting

England were convincing winners over Scotland in Glasgow. Credit: PA

The Football Association has issued an apology after a section of England's supporters chanted an anti-IRA song throughout the first-half of Tuesday's international in Scotland.

A spokesman for the FA said: “We apologise for any offence caused by a section of the England support at the match with Scotland. The FA does not condone inappropriate and offensive chanting and intends to meet with supporters’ groups to discuss the wider issues.

“We have consistently urged supporters to show respect and not to chant songs that could be regarded as insulting to others - particularly from a religious or political perspective.

“With regard to the supporters’ band, there was contact during the match once the situation became clear. This is consistent with regular dialogue that takes place between the band and The FA.

“In also apologising, the band have given an explanation and confirmed they in no way endorse the chanting that occurred.”?

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England band leader was 'unaware' of anti-IRA chant

England's band follow the team everywhere. Credit: PA

The leader of England's band was "unaware" of anti-IRA chants from England fans inside Celtic Park on Tuesday.

The FA were forced to contact the band during last night's international friendly between Scotland and England to prevent them from assisting with the offensive chant.

John Hemmingham, who formed England's band 21 years ago, told Press Assocation:

"We were absolutely not aware of it. All the fans around us were singing ’Follow England Away’. It was only when a band member saw on Twitter that some people were saying we were playing anti-IRA songs that we became aware. Then we immediately stopped and played something else.”

England announce Germany and France friendlies

England were beaten by Germany at Wembley in 2013. Credit: PA

England will play glamour friendlies against world champions Germany and France in the build-up to Euro 2016.

The Football Association announced on Wednesday that the Three Lions will host France on November 17 next year, and it also confirmed England will play a friendly in Germany in March 2016.

Negotiations are also under way regarding potential pre-Euro 2016 friendlies against Holland and Spain.

The FA has already announced fixtures against Italy for March next year and a fixture against the Republic of Ireland at Dublin's Aviva Stadium on June 7.

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