Chemicals giant INEOS has announced plans to invest up to $1 billion (£0.64bn) in shale gas exploration in the UK.
The company, which runs a huge refinery and petrochemicals plant at Grangemouth, currently has two shale licences in Scotland and is applying for more.
Earlier this year, it secured a £230 million loan guarantee from the UK Government to build a new facility to import shale gas from the US.
The company also said it would give local communities 6% of the revenues from any shale gas it produces, worth an estimate £375 million.
Jim Ratcliffe, INEOS Chairman said: “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.”
Hydraulic fracturing or fracking involves pumping water, chemicals and sand at high pressure underground to release gas.